Maui News

Breaking: Maui Fair canceled for third year in a row; 98th Maui Fair to resume in 2023

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97th Maui Fair, opening day. (10.3.19) Photo by Wendy Osher.

The 98th Maui Fair will resume in 2023, with organizers foregoing an event this year due to logistics.

“Securing operational commitments from service providers, volunteers and vendors proved too challenging to put on the fair in 2022,” organizers said in a press release issued on Wednesday night.

While they had hoped to hold the 98th event this year, the Maui Fair Alliance Board reluctantly decided to postpone the event until next year.

“A very important part of the Maui Fair is the Joy Zone,” according to the announcement. “Fernandez Events, the Joy Zone operator, informed the Alliance that it is not doing neighbor Islands fairs in 2022 because of high shipping costs and lingering staff shortages.”

The Alliance met with the Mayor of the County of Maui to explore options for obtaining government assistance and funding; however, the available resources were insufficient to enable an event this year, according to organizers.

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The Maui Fair Alliance said the Mayor was supportive and helpful in the process.

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“Our hearts are heavy knowing we will not be gathering for our 98th annual celebration this year. Our highest priority is to hold a fair where guests, participants and our community will be treated to the style and magnitude of past annual fairs,” said Avery Chumbley, Alliance President.

“We all want to be able to come together and enjoy each other’s company at a full-sized quality event like we experienced in the past and that our community expects from the Alliance; unfortunately, the challenges to make that happen this year are just too great to overcome,” said Sherri Grimes, Managing Director of Maui Fair.

The event is traditionally held over four days during the first weekend in October. The 2020 and 2021 events were canceled due to public health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, there were concerns about virus transmission for the large gathering in a limited area.

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Attendance at the 97th Maui Fair in 2019 was about 90,000 individuals.  That year, the Maui Fair Grand Parade Marshalls, were the Little League World Series Champions, Maui’s “Central Maui Senior Little League All-Star Team,” and West Region Champions “Central East Maui Little League.”

The event serves as the primary source of funding for many of Maui’s nonprofit and community organizations.

It traditionally offers a Baby of the Year Contest, horticulture and craft exhibits, a poultry and livestock tent, a product and services area, photo salon exhibit, and street party. There’s also daily entertainment and an interactive arena featuring legos, science and superheroes.

More info on the event can be found at the Maui Fair website.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.
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