Lahaina Plantation Days celebrate West Maui’s sugar-cane history, Oct. 24 and 25


West Maui’s sweet history will be celebrated at the sixth annual Lahaina Plantation Days this Friday and Saturday evening (Oct. 24 and 25). The community event offers visitors food, entertainment and a window into plantation camp life from the area’s sugar and pineapple past.

The two-day festival will be held at the restored Pioneer Mill smokestack on Lahainaluna Road from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. both days. This year’s Lahaina Plantation Days will include more than two dozen Maui food and beverage vendors, a farmer’s market, a beer and wine garden, old-fashioned carnival games, cultural demonstrations and informative displays.

Opened in 1860, West Maui’s Pioneer Sugar Mill was one of Hawaii’s first sugar mills and also one of its last remaining when it closed in 1999. Plantation camps owned by the sugar mill were home to multiple cultures of workers that shaped the island’s demography. Pioneer Mill’s prominent smokestack—a Lahaina landmark—is all that remains of its former sugar processing facilities.

This year’s Plantation Life Tent will honor the diversity of jobs that were required to keep the plantation running in its heyday. Displays will feature field equipment and administrative equipment as well as more personal artifacts such as photos and anecdotes from plantation camp families. Also on exhibit: oil paintings from local Maui artist Marcario Pascual depicting activities such as cutting and slicing cane, inspired by his memories of plantation camp life.

Photos and memorabilia in the Plantation Life Tent. Photo: Lahaina Plantation Days. Photo: Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

Cultural demonstrations—such as a Chinese calligraphy class, Japanese kimono donning lessons and an informational session on kalo (taro) and its significance to Native Hawaiians—will highlight the day-to-day life of plantation camp residents. Regional costumes from Portugal and Flamenco dances from Spain will also be part of the event’s multicultural mix of displays and activities.

A line-up of Hawaii musicians will play the entertainment stage both nights including slack-key guitarist/vocalist Richard Hoopii and popular Maui band EKOLU.

Admission to Lahaina Plantation Days, organized by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, is $5 per person with free parking. Children under 5 are free.

For more information about Lahaina Plantation Days, call the Lahaina Restoration Foundation at (808) 661-3262, or click here for the full entertainment lineup. You can also visit the Lahaina Plantation Days’ Facebook page for regular updates.

Lahaina Plantation Days
Fri., Oct. 24 and Sat., Oct. 25 from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. • Lahainaluna Road, Lahaina, Maui • (808) 661-3262 • Website

Categories: Maui