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Maui Matsuri 2014: A Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

Are you ready for the 14th Annual Maui Matsuri festival?

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve already started working on a festival checklist, and the event is still a few weeks away!

  1. Charge camera phone for selfies & photo ops with Hello Kitty.
  2. Wear stretchy pants to accommodate food consumption.
  3. Go to the ATM for some spending money.
  4. Get pumped up & work up an appetite (refer back to “wear stretchy pants”).
  5. Bring reusable grocery bags for omiyage (gifts) & take-out food.
  6. Write a blog post about the festival. Check!

Maui Matsuri

“Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.

The official theme of the festival is “kodomo no tame ni” or “for the sake of the children.” Each year, the popularity of Maui Matsuri grows, and there are thousands of people in attendance. Proceeds of the event go to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to support the work they do to preserve and perpetuate Japanese culture on Maui.

Maui Matsuri

The 2014 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 2 for the kickoff event, featuring karaoke, taiko, kendama, obon odori (bon dance) practice, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage.

The festivities continue the following weekend on Friday, May 9 with a storytelling night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building) in Kahului, followed by the actual Maui Matsuri festival on Saturday, May 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College great lawn or courtyard.

This is the first year that Maui Matsuri is introducing the storytelling night on Friday, May 9, and it will feature fables and stories from Hawaii and Japan, including obake (ghost) stories. One of the performers for this event will be Maui’s own “Tita,” radio personality, actress and emcee, Kathy Collins.

Here is a sneak peak into this year’s festival on Saturday, May 10:

  • Onolicious grinds (delicious food). What can be better than being able to savor fresh and tasty poke bowls, bento, abalone, teriyaki, chow fun, poi mochi and shave ice conveniently in one place? You only have to walk a few steps to get to all of these amazing food booths instead of driving all over town.

Maui Matsuri

  • Contests gallore. Maui Matsuri will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), Cosplay (costume), video-gaming, kendama, and Manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing. If you are competitive at heart, want to have fun with your friends, or just love to people-watch as others compete for prizes and bragging rights, this part of the festival is definitely for you.
  • Live entertainment and demonstrations. From taiko (Japanese drumming) and karate demonstrations, to Japanese singers like Hikariyama Torao, A.K.A. Tevita Apina (who also just won the karaoke contest at Kawaii Kon, by the way… wow!) and the group Bento Rakugo from Oahu that specializes in magic shows and variety acts. Bento Rakugo also tells obake (ghost) stories and will be performing on Friday, May 9 for the storytelling night.

Maui Matsuri

  • Kodomo (kids) corner. If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the place to be! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults join in the fun, snap a few pictures, or simply take a moment to savor their chow fun and poi mochi. Some of the activities at this year’s festival include: make your own hachimaki (Japanese headband), gyotaku (fish printing & painting), and Japanese food games such as a colorful dango (rice dumpling) stacking game and takoyaki flipping.
  • Cultural exhibits. Bonsai, Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) Sangetsu flower arranging, Maui Ki-Aikido martial arts, Consulate General of Japan, and the art of calligraphy are just some of the many exhibits you can visit at this year’s festival.
  • Craft booths. Buy local. Support local. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, many of whom feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products.
  • Obon odori or bon dance (Japanese group dancing). Kickoff the Maui obon season with obon odori on the great lawn. Follow along and join in the dancing dressed as you are. No kimono or happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coat? No problem! T-shirts and rubba slippas welcome.

Maui Matsuri

Arigato (thanks) for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the festival! As the P.R., Marketing & Social Media Chair for Maui Matsuri, I’m sure you will see me there. Look for the gal running around, taking photos, and posting about the event with the rest of our social media team. The other members of our social media team include: Brian Nagami, Jody Yoshida, Sherman Peros, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Kay Fukumoto. If you know any of them, please feel free to say “hi” and stop them for a photo op!

The festival website is www.mauimatsuri.com, and the official hashtag for the event is #MauiMatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.

Kashiko (sincerely yours),

Traci Giordano Silva

Silva GangAbout the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance designer & writer at Miso Creative; partner & marketing specialist at Fukumoto Engineering (FE); PR, marketing & social media chair for Soroptimist Maui & the Maui Matsuri; & blogger & creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her hubby Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She blogs for fun, loves making new friends in the blogosphere, & enjoys giving back to the community. Blog: www.silvagang.com. Twitter & Instagram: @SilvaGang

 

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Wailuku First Friday – November 2011

Rain or shine – we’re gonna have a lot of fun!

Wailuku First Friday in November

Wailuku’s November First Friday will energize Market Street from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4th; the free event is open to all. Market Street closes at 5:30 p.m.; ample parking is available off Main Street in the Maui Medical Group parking lot and throughout Wailuku Town. Headliner “Owaila” will rock the Maui Thing stage starting at 6:30 p.m. From the Hawaiian word for “who,” Owaila plays “modern rock for the energetic music lover.” This hot new band is comprised of familiar local talents Chad Kaya, Kanoa Kukaua, Ryan Rego and Tavi Tenari, and rips with its own island flavor of progressive rock. And also on the Maui a Thing stage are the teenage sensation Visibly Shaken who will also rock you away!

At 6:00 p.m. Gene Argel and ‘ohana will perform in front of Café O Lei, and Maui Rumba will bring its lively rhythms to the Wailuku Banyan Tree Park. Also performing will be Andy Kaina & Old School, with live music at Chris Hart & Partners parking lot on Vineyard Street.  New to Wailuku First Friday, but not new to live music mixing is Ben Brandes the DJ DUB performing at Main Street Promenade by Gionatto’s Pizzeria.  Grab a pizza, under the stars and enjoy the mixing!

Other highlights include:

•    Murder and mystery will haunt the Iao Theater at 8:30 p.m. with
silent movies, doors open at 6:30 pm. In the theater’s front lobby,
party-goers can fill out an HTA survey and receive a coupon for 20%
off a Chocolate Stout Latte at Wailuku Coffee Company.

•    At the “Pono- Do What is Right” store on Vineyard Street, a drawing
for a Thanksgiving turkey will be held; the lucky winner can choose
traditional or kalua preparation.

•    The Rinko Maui store’s grand opening at 51 Market Street will
feature moon cake sampling to celebrate longevity and happiness.

•    Artisans, crafters, sidewalk vendors and a rainbow of local cuisine
can all be enjoyed streetside along Market Street.

•    Keep your Body Alive with live Music @5pm, Art, and healthy treats
at Wailuku’s yoga studio. 7pm flag dance performance!, Main Street

•    In this month of thanksgiving, drop a Maui Food Bank donation at
Swan Interiors on Vineyard and Church Street.

•    Beer Garden: Na Leo Kako`o, benefiting Hawaiian Immersion Kula Kalapuni

•    Awa Bar, Hawaiian Food and Fresh Kulolo, Native Intelligence Store

•    Maui Bake Shop sweet and savory crepes and WFF specials, BYOB

•    Artisans, crafters, sidewalk vendors and a rainbow of local cuisine
can all be enjoyed streetside along Market Street.

Vendors, merchants and entertainers are reminded that Market Street closes at 5:30 p.m.  For the safety of all participants, everyone’s kokua is appreciated. Signs will be placed to remind the public that no cars will be allowed on Market Street during the event: Cars left parked on the street during the event will be ticketed. Maui Medical Group has graciously offered free parking during Wailuku First Friday at the facility’s lot, located near the Main/High Street intersection. The Vineyard Street parking exit will close at 9 p.m.; patrons can exit the lot onto Main Street after 9 p.m.

 

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Halloween Celebrations on Maui – Lahaina, Paia & Kihei

I had been wanting to write a post on Halloween on Maui since last week but I had been very busy all week I did not get a chance to write it.   Today it struck me that Halloween is on Monday (as in this coming Monday)  so I better get on my okole today  and upload a post or else it will be too late.

With the return of  Halloween celebration in Front Street Lahaina,  Maui’s Halloween celebration has gotten a boost and as a result there are so many fun events to choose from. 

Paia – The New Mastersounds, Freeradicals Projekt, and DJ Boomshot at Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon. Starts 9 p.m. Sell-Out Expected – Buy Tickets In Advance; Howl 1031 at Moana Bakery & Cafe. Starts 9 p.m. $20 cover. Costume and all-night DJ dance party. Cash prizes will be offered to the best dressed.

Paia Trick or  Treat starts at 5:00 pm and ends at 7:00pm.  All of Paia’s businesses are offering candy and treats for trick or treating. Costume Contest is  at 5 pm.  There will be a Keiki Costume Contest at Flatbread.  Win Prizes!

 Kihei – Sexy & Scary at Ambrosia. Starts 10 p.m. DJ CIA, $4 “brain hemorrhage shots” and “spooky juice drinks” in house; Halloween Night With DJ Slackin’ at the Tiki Lounge. Starts 10 p.m. will drink specials all night; Halloween With MOTHxp at Three’s Bar & Grill. Starts 8 p.m. for all ages and at 10 p.m. for 21 & over.

Piilani Village Shopping Center in Kihei is also having a Maui’s Family Friendly Halloween on Monday,  October 31 from 6p-8p. Live Music by DÄjê vu DJ by Next Level Entertainment, Magic w/ Timothy Wenk, Brenton Keith and his Bag of Tricks, Trunk O Treat, Maui Classic Cruisers, Candy Treats, County of Maui & HandsOn Maui Face Painting,  Kihei Youth Center, games with prizes. with Yuki Lei Sugimura and Maui’s MorningShow.

Lahaina - As we all know, Lahaina is where the big “party” is going to be.  Below are copies of the posters that will tell you about the event’s activities, the Maui Bus route and Halloween schedule  and more.

Click on these images to enlarge it so you can read better.

So who’s going to Lahaina on Halloween?  I invite you to post some of your pics on our A Maui Blog Facebook Page. But remember, this blog is rated PG ;)  And in case you are interested to find out where I will be, we will be staying here in Kihei :)  Happy trick-o-treating!

IMPORTANT REMINDER FROM OUR READER: *   In light of the sensitivities of the Host Culture (Hawaiian), please be respectful of the people and respect the places you  go. Insensitivity and offensiveness will cause harm and is unnecessary. Malama Pono. (*I received this comment via contact email right after I uploaded this post.  I thought it will bw good to add it here. Malama Pono.)

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Maui Fair 2011 Photo Recap

Time flies fast.  These photos were taken 3 years apart…

Find the other 2011 Maui Fair  photos here: 

Favorite Joy Rides, Orchids and Fresh Produce.

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