40th Annual Maui Whale Festival Begins Feb. 1

January 9, 2020, 1:15 PM HST · Updated January 31, 9:26 AM
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40th Annual Maui Whale Festival Begins Feb. 1
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Run & Walk For Whales, Feb. 1

The annual Run & Walk for Whales takes place on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Maui Harbor Shops. The event kicks off the Pacific Whale Foundation’s month-long 40th Anniversary Maui Whale Festival. Designed for all ages and abilities, the Run & Walk for Whales is one of Maui’s largest and most scenic run and walking events. More than 500 runners and walkers will gather in solidarity for ocean conservation and to celebrate the homecoming of Maui’s humpback whales. Participants and spectators are invited to stay for breakfast, awards, music by Marty Dread and family-friendly activities. Those who can’t race in person on Maui, can still Run & Walk for Whales where they live and support the research, education and conservation efforts of Pacific Whale Foundation by joining the virtual team.

Maui Whale Festival 2020

Dating back to 1980, Maui Whale Festival was known as Whale Day, celebrated in late April on Earth Day in a parking lot in central Kīhei. From sunrise to sunset, Maui residents and visitors celebrated the work of local environmentalist groups, and enjoyed live entertainment, food booths and family-friendly activities. Over time, a Run & Walk for Whales and a conservation rally were included, earning the event a mayoral proclamation that encouraged all citizens to support and participate in programs that seek to protect whales. In time, Whale Day grew from 2,000 participants in its 10th year to 20,000 in its 37th, eventually requiring the use of all of Kalama Park in Kīhei. Today, Maui Whale Festival is offered in February, peak humpback whale season, in Wailuku Town, Kīhei, Lahaina and Mā‘alaea with major activities occurring each week, allowing residents and visitors many more opportunities for engagement.  Additional event highlights can be found on the Festival website.

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Whale Day & Parade Of Whales, Feb. 8

Back by popular demand, the Whale Day 2020 Parade travels down South Kīhei Road, starting at Kama‘ole Beach 1 and ending at Kalama Park in Kīhei. After the parade, stay at Kalama Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for free interactive displays on marine research, education and conservation; hula performances; a keiki carnival; local food vendors; Made on Maui arts and crafts vendors; the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta; expert speakers and more. This year Pacific Whale Foundation partners with other Maui whale protectors – Whale Trust, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and Division of Aquatic Resources – DLNR – Hawai‘i to present Whale Day. The public can help support this free event to celebrate and educate about humpback whales and other marine life by contributing to the Whale Consortium’s Gofundme page.

World Whale Film Festival, Feb. 14

The annual World Whale Film Festival takes place on Friday, Feb. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Historic ʻĪao Theater in Wailuku.  The event promotes international storytellers who tell powerful stories that inspire ocean and wildlife conservation around the world. This 4th annual event will engage 300 guests with short films and talk story sessions with the directors that focus on marine debris and other issues affecting ocean health. With several invited food vendors attending, guests are invited to make this a Valentines date to remember with dinner and a movie for a cause.

Concert Cruises: Feb. 8, 9, 15 and 22
Feb 8 & 22 – John Cruz • 5:30 p.m., 5 p.m.
Feb 9 & 15 – Keiki Concert Cruises • 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m.

Enjoy live music and dancing at sea with some of Hawaiʻi’s popular performers during the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Concert Cruises. John Cruz will performing on two separate dates: Saturday, Feb. 8 and 22. For the keiki, Banana Slug String Band performs on Sunday, Feb. 9 and Uncle Wayne & the Howling Dog Band is the featured entertainment on Saturday, Feb. 15. Guests are invited to celebrate their shared love for humpbacks and other marine animals.

Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Photo credit: Pacific Whale Foundation.

Image: courtesy Pacific Whale Foundation.

 

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