Maui Activities

55th Annual Barrio Fiesta, May 24-25

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Barrio Fiesta. PC: courtesy

The 55th Annual Barrio Fiesta takes place May 24 and 24 at the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center in Kahului. Friday’s hours are 5-10 p.m., and Saturday’s event will run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Melen Agcolicol, president of Binhi at Ani said, “We continue to share our rich Filipino culture–whether it’s through food, entertainment, exhibits, and contests so our youth will not forget their roots and the rest of Maui can also appreciate our Filipino culture.”

The Barrio Fiesta was initiated by the Maui Filipino Community Council and first held on May 31, 1970 at the War Memorial grounds near the swimming pool. At that time, there was an influx of recent immigrants from the Philippines. Today, the festival continues to celebrate with food, culture, pageantry, entertainment, contests and special events.

This year’s Barrio Fiesta includes a Special Tribute to the families of the Lahaina fire. Organizers say at least 40%of Lahaina’s residents are of Filipino ancestry.


Nora Cabanilla-Takushi, event chairperson and a Lahaina fire survivor said, “The Sakada Bell will be tolled 103 times–to remember the 101 who died in the Lahaina fire and the two who are still missing.  After the tolling of the Sakada Bell by members of the Maria Lanakila Filipino Catholic Club, the members will participate in a candle light procession, during which the 103 names will be read.”  

As part of the Opening Ceremonies, members of the Lahainaluna High School Filipino Club will sing their alma mater.

Traditional Filipino food and desserts will be offered such as arroz caldo, baduya, balut, banana lumpia, bangus, bibingka, cascaron, chicharon, chicken adobo, crispy pork, dinuguan, empanada, fish ball, halo halo, ice candy, inkiwar, kikiam, kwek-kwek, lechon, longanisa, miki, pansit, patopat, pinakbet, pork adobo, pork and peas, pork lumpia, pork sisig, puto, sago gulaman, suman, sweet potato lumpia, tupig, and vegetable lumpia. And a few local favorites such as bbq beef, bbq pork, boiled peanuts, chicken hekka, chow fun and slushy drinks. 

Contests with prizes are scheduled including:  

  • AnyKine Sisig Challenge sponsored by Tante’s Island Cuisine (Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Barrio Fiesta Balut Challenge sponsored by Balai Pata by Joey Macadangdang  (Saturday at 6:30 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • The Barrio Fiesta Voice sponsored by Law Offices of Alfredo Evangelista, A Limited Liability Law Company  (Friday at 8:30 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Barrio Wear Showdown! sponsored by Rusty and Hedy Udarbe (Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with $250 to the male winner and $250 to the female winner).
  • Climb the Greased Pole! sponsored by In Memory of Nancy Andres and Aggie Cabebe (Saturday at 1 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Eat Da Pansit contest sponsored by Friends of Gil Keith-Agaran (Saturday at 3 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Do the Sungka! sponsored by Johnstone Supply of Maui (Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Kabataan Art Party featuring Phil Sabado sponsored by Friends of Yuki Lei Sugimura (Saturday at 2 p.m. with $500 to the winner).
  • Pabitin at the Barrio Fiesta! sponsored by Friends of Justin Woodson (Friday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.).

Philippine cultural entertainment will be provided by:

  • Outrigger Kāʻanapali Beach Resort (Saturday at 8:30 p.m.)
  • La Galeria: Compania Baile Filipino (Saturday at 6 p.m.)
  • Naragsak (Saturday at 7 p.m.)
  • The Paoay Singers (Saturday at 8 p.m.)
  • Sto. Nino Organization of Maui (Friday at 7 p.m.)
  • Students of Aggie Cabebe (Friday at 8 p.m.)
  • Zumba will close out both evenings at 9:30 p.m. with the Friday session led by Gina Dela Cruz and Marilou Vilora Siores while the Saturday session will be led by Eva Arconado Mirzai.
  • At 10 p.m. on Saturday, there will be drawings (no entry fee required, one entry per person, must be 18 years or older, entry must match government issued ID, must be present to win) for  travel to Las Vegas sponsored by Allstate Insurance/Brent Wylam, Agent and travel to the Philippines sponsored by Philippine Airlines.

Inside the Center, there will be a replica of a Bahay Kubo created by the Bahay Kubo Heritage Foundation. Cultural villages depicting several provinces/regions of the Philippines will also be featured:  Cebu created by Sto. Nino Organization of Maui; Cordillera created by Law Offices of Alfredo Evangelista, A Limited Liability Law Company; Ilocos Norte created by Miguel Agcolicol; Ilocos Sur created by Ilocos Surian Association of Maui; Metro Manila created by Maui Revival Church; Mindanao created by La Galeria: Compania Baile Filipino; and Pangasinan created by Wena Gazmen.  The best cultural village will receive a $500 prize. Cultural villages will be graded on culture, originality, presentation and interactivity. 

Vying for the title of Miss Barrio Fiesta are Trisha Marie Jose Basig, daughter of Rizalino and Lizette Basig; and Gianna Cheryze Magbual, daughter of Jovy Magbual and Maria Hall.  The 2024 Miss Barrio Fiesta will be crowned on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.

Barrio Fiesta. PC: courtesy

Special Events include:

  • The Santa Cruzan depicting the finding of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena featuring past Miss Barrio Fiesta queens (Friday at 6:30 p.m.)
  • Veterans Memorial Service (Saturday at 12 p.m.)
  • Outstanding Housekeepers Awards (Saturday at 8:30 p.m.)

And a lechon demonstration sponsored by In Memory of Stanley Magbual (Saturday) will be held on Saturday. 

“We’re very excited to present the 55th Annual Barrio Fiesta–the longest running Filipino fiesta in the United States,” said Cabanilla-Takushi.  “We could not have continued this unmatched tradition without the support of our sponsors, advertisers, donors, vendors, entertainers, volunteers and the Miss Barrio Fiesta® contestants.  There is definitely something for everyone at the Barrio Fiesta®–food, culture, contests and entertainment. It’s a terrific way to continue to share our culture with all of Maui and to be with old and new friends.”  

Major sponsors include County of Maui, Bayer Crop Science Hawai’i, US Renal Care, ILWU, Philippine Airlines, Allstate/Brent Wylam, Maria Hall & Family, Pukalani Superette, Four Sisters Bakery, Four Sisters Catering and Copy Services.

Binhi at Ani, which means “Seed and Harvest” is a Hawai’i nonprofit corporation incorporated in 1985 with a 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.  Binhi at Ani operates the Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center located at 780 Oneheʻe Ave. in Kahului, which opened in 2005 and is the current site of the annual Barrio Fiesta, celebrated on Maui since 1970.  Binhi at Ani also awards scholarships to outstanding high school graduates and will award a total of twenty-six scholarships (three at $2,000 and twenty-three at $1,000) in 2024.

During the pandemic, Binhi at Ani established the Bayanihan Food Distribution Program which distributed 8,443 food boxes including 8,760 plate lunches; the Bayanihan Feeding Program which has delivered 23,482 meals to kupuna; and Bakuna at Binhi at Ani Filipino Community Center through which eleven vaccination clinics were held.

After the Lahaina fire, Binhi at Ani established the Tulong for Lahaina Fund where qualified applicants (lost home, lost business or lost immediate family member) would receive $750.  By the deadline of Sept. 30, 2023, 713 applications were received and an independent panel determined that 227 of the applicants qualified.  Binhi at Ani raised over $170,000.00 and all of the 227 qualified applicants have received their $750 grants as well as an assortment of food boxes, plate lunches, toilet paper, water, comforters and gift cards.

Barrio Fiesta event flyer. PC: courtesy

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