1. Bring your own water bottle.
The event is going green this year. The Haiku Elementary School’s fifth graders will man food waste collection bins, so cheer them on as they schlep the food waste at the top of the hour every hour to the Mala O Haiku School garden, where they will bury it with Bokashi.
“I would love to see the students processing more of the cafeteria food waste at the school and diverting it into the school garden,” says former student Jenna Tallman, who is helping organize the effort. “This food waste is a nutrient rich soil amendment if processed correctly. The students learn the value of turning waste into something wonderful!”
Look for the food vendors that will be serving on banana leaf as a disposable plate replacement (Tallman is making 1,000 leaf plates). These naturally decomposing plates go right in with the food waste. There is also complimentary water for those who bring their own recyclable water bottle (while supplies last.)
2. Support the kids.
This quintessential North Shore event brings more than 7,000 attendees to connect with the Haiku community. But not everyone knows this is a vital fundraiser for the Haiku School PTA. Organizer Mike Gagne was president of the Haiku Community Association in 1992 when they began planning and threw their first event with plenty of trial and tribulation. Haiku Community Association eventually convinced the PTA to embrace it.
“The first event took place in September with no insurance or proper permits and was very seat of the Haiku pants style but so many people came out to help us that it was heartwarmingly successful,” Gagne says on the event website. “Success meant having $700 after it was all over to give to the PTA which would not have happened without the $1000 grant that Lucienne DeNaie helped us coax out of the county.”
3. Win prizes.
The very first Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival featured a flower arrangement contest, borrowed vases and a flower sponsor with judging by the Maui Flower Growers Association. This year, the festival is proud to continue their amateur floral design competition– adult and keiki divisions start at 10am. The Maui Flower Growers Association tent will have a lei making contest that starts at 9am. Paradise Flower Farms is also supplying flora and fauna for the contests.
The pie contest is taking entries at 9am–just drop by the Bake Sale tent. The one-day-only Instagram contest will be tracking tweeters who use the hashtag #PeaceLoveHaiku and tags @HaikuHoolaulea and @PiiholoZipline. The best photo of the event will be chosen on Sunday.
4. Come hungry.
The chow fun is coming from Mama’s Fish House, the nachos use Tiffany’s salsa and the chicken Caesar is coming from the new Haiku restaurant Nuka. Lifefoods will make the PTA’s vegan burgers and Las Pinatas will make their bean burritos. And that’s just the PTA food stand. There is also a whole restaurant row with food from the Daily Grindz, Cafe des Amis, Cafe Mambo, Moana Bakery, Flatbread and John Cadman’s Pies. Speaking of sweets, Da Local Banana and Shaka Pops will be slinging frozen treats.
Oh, and the bake sale and sweet shop will have Anthony’s Coffee along with an array of baked goods and treats from school parents, Four Sisters, Maui Specialty Chocolates and Wow-Wee Candy Bar.
5. Smile at the volunteers.
It takes a village to put on this event. If you haven’t volunteered, take a moment to notice all the wonderful people who have.
“What makes the Haiku Ho’olaule’a different from other school-related festivals on Maui is the involvement of our community in the process,” said Jennifer Oberg, Haiku School’s Parent-Community Networking Coordinator. “Haiku is a small, close-knit town that really cares about its school. Community members who have never even had children at the school come out to support us every year! We are truly grateful for that support, because we are not like a private school with a full-blown development department. We love having our community help us.”
6. Lounge and listen.
Feel free to lounge all day in front of the stage. I know you’re looking forward to seeing Ekolu, Makana, Marty Dread, Eric Gilliom and Amy Hanaiali’i, but Ahumanu, Benny Uetake and the Kalama Ukulele Band are chicken skin. Plus, Donny Dovino and the Maui Ohana Band will also rock the event. The keiki stage will go off with the Konomi dance works, the Chi Ribbon dance and a live dance mob for everyone that sounds like chaotic fun.
7. Bring your own bags.
I hope you have been saving up for the Ho’olaule’a. The silent auction is huge, with more than 400 donated items to bid on. The list of crafters and artists spans so many pages I can’t possibly list them here. Barnes and Noble is coming with their own book fair, with donations going to Haiku keiki. The Haiku Living Legacy Project will have a special printing of Louis Baldovi’s Holoholo to Wen I Wuz for sale for 20 bones (its the last printing of this book!) along with their special display about the history of Haiku. And farmers will show off their Haiku bounty in the Farmers Market tent.
8. Bring a towel.
Yup, there’s a dunking booth, bouncy castle water slides for the kids and carnival games. Alexander & Baldwin is sponsoring the keiki fun zone, with all-day bounce bands sold for $15. There will also be three face painting booths, balloon creations, an obstacle course and pony rides.
9. Don’t sweat the parking.
Seriously, where do more 7,000 people park when they roll up to the humble Haiku Community Center and school grounds? Relax! A&B was very generous this year when they offered their adjoining property for parking. Expect to shell out two bucks to the great folks at the Boys and Girls Club who will sweat their butts off in the parking lot, keeping it smooth and organized. An even greener option is to take the Maui Bus.
10. Keep it going!
Where do you go from here? To Luau Sunday, of course. Richard Ho’opi’i will be performing at the Haiku Homecoming Luau at the same location, so you came come back for more fun the next day. That starts at 11:30am and and runs till 2:30pm. Tickets are $25 at haikuhoolaulea.org. A Haiku historical display, talk story sessions and traditional luau menu await you.
Still feel like giving? This year marks the establishment of the the Haiku Elementary School Foundation and their inaugural fundraiser Star Light Star Bright will take place on May 4, 6-10pm at the Maui Country Club. Imua Haiku School!
HAIKU HO’OLAULE’A & FLOWER FESTIVAL
Saturday, April 20
Haiku Community Center
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.