That’s right kiddies: The full and complete Halloween festivities that once crowned Lahaina the “Mardis Gras of the Pacific” — not seen since 2007 — are coming back this year, according to a County of Maui press release sent out last night.
“It has been the desire of our administration to bring back a safe, fun, family-friendly Halloween event to Front Street,” said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa in the news release. “Our residents and merchants have asked for it, and my administration has worked hard with multiple community groups, organizations, and government agencies to bring this event back.”
Lahaina’s Halloween festival became controversial a few years ago for it not being sufficiently Hawaiian. Apparently, that’s not longer an issue — or at least, it’s not an issue with the current administration.
In addition to the closing of Front Street between Baker and Prison streets from 3:30pm to midnight on Monday, Oct. 31, there will be the always cute Keiki Parade, keiki ghost stories, face painting, a costume contest and live music at Banyan Tree Park and Campbell Park. And yes, there will be official “Back on Front” Halloween merch for sale.
Because the press release also contains the statement that the county “will continue to work closely with Maui Police Department to ensure public safety in its highest form,” you can expect to see legions of Maui PD officers during the street festival.
So have fun, but please be safe. There will be additional buses running to and from Lahaina that night, and the county is asking Westside bars and restaurants to serve free soft drinks to designated drivers.