MA’ALAEA, MAUI, Hawaii – To honor the presence of humpback whales in Maui, Pacific Whale Foundation will host its annual Maui Whale Festival from Friday, November 26, 2010 through Sunday, May 15, 2011. Last year, more than 25,000 people attended Maui Whale Festival. This year’s festival is newly expanded and consists of dozens of events for visitors to Maui, as well as residents.
Maui Whale Festival’s signature event Whale Day, will take place on Saturday, February 19, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at Kalama Park in Kihei. Celebrating its 31st anniversary, Whale Day includes Maui’s Parade of Whales, performances by some of Hawaii’s top entertainers, food from popular Maui restaurants, a Made on Maui craft fair, children’s activities, a silent auction, environmental displays, and the Wild and Wonderful Whale Regatta. The funds raised will support marine education programs for Maui schoolchildren.
Additionally, the popular Run for the Whales will be held on Saturday, February 5. Participants can choose between a half marathon, 5K run or walk, a competition pod event (where five people run or walk as a group), and a 2K children’s race.
New this year to the Maui Whale Festival is a four-day Valentine’s weekend event called For the Love of Whales. Kicking off the event is a Whale Share-a-Thon on Friday, February 11, featuring hula, music, and a traditional Hawaiian chant. The event also includes opportunities for the public to share and enjoy music, art, poetry, stories, video, and photos. Those who wish to learn more about whales can attend An Evening with the Experts on Saturday, February 12, to hear noted whale experts from around the United States speak about the latest discoveries and developments in the quest to understand and save whales.