The 96th annual Maui Fair is one of Maui’s biggest community events held each year which spanned over the course of four days ,Oct. 4th to Oct. 7th. The theme of this year was called Celebrating the Good Ol’ Days. An array of exhibits, entertainment, and activities that showcased and honored the time spent looking back at memories and where people came together to enjoy the new things that came into their lives. The average amount of attendees per day was an estimated 90 thousand, which equated to similar numbers from the previous year.
The weekend kicked off with the parade on Thursday, October 4th. There were many participants such as marching bands and clubs from various schools, along with some of the organizations that sponsor the fair.
Pā Hale Hawaii was included as one of the newest additions which was located outside of the gym, hosted by Punana Leo o Maui, which allowed people to participate in Hawaiian crafts, food , and games. There was also two more and rather large additions to the fair. One was the Keiki Farm Hands exhibit which provided a pen full of baby chicks, play tractors, and fake cow for kids to practice milking. The second was a Jumbotron which was mounted outside that allowed people passing to see the upcoming events throughout the day and see the various activities the fair has to offer.
Making its reappearance, the E.K. Fernandez Joy Zone, Horticulture, Orchidland, Livestock & Poultry, Hobbies & Crafts, along with Art & Photography exhibits became part of the main attractions in this year’s fair. E.K. Fernandez rides brought back the infamous Wave Swinger, but they also brought in a new ride called Zero Gravity. The ride tilts at a seventy-degree angle as well as spins similar to Area 51.
This year also marks the 2nd annual Street Party where various acts such as Zumba instructors performed in the middle of the fair grounds. Musical entertainment from artists such as Makaha Sons, Kanekoa, The Exiles, Princess Ilona Irvine, Kaina Kountry, Kaleo Phillips, Ekolu, and Willie K played a huge part in the event. On the final night of the event Willie K, a well known artist in Hawaii, closed out the fair weekend by giving a special performance in honour of people with lung cancer.