We often think of the ocean as a playground, a place filled with fun and adventure. To many animals, the ocean is home. Off the coast of Maui, the warm and relatively shallow water is where thousands of humpback whales come home during the winter months, primarily to mate and to calve their young. Pacific Whale Foundation has been working for over 36 years to protect whales, dolphins and other marine life through research, education and conservation efforts worldwide. The non-profit organization also celebrates the humpback whales every year with their World Whale Day Festival and Parade of Whales.
Voted “Best Community Festival” on Maui, this year’s World Whale Day will take place on Saturday, February 13 starting with a hometown parade down South Kihei Road at 9am. The parade includes participants of all ages and features costumed sea characters and ocean-themed floats created by community organizations, schools, local businesses and other groups. The festivities continue center stage at beautiful Kalama Park with an exciting lineup of some of Hawaii’s top recording artists and entertainers including Willie K., John Cruz, HAPA, Marty Dread, Amy Gilliom, George Kahumoku, and Cyril Pahinui.
The Keiki Carnival at World Whale Day features fun bouncy rides as well as interactive activities to learn about whales and the ocean. Food booths are open all day offering tantalizing dishes from popular Maui restaurants and food trucks. World Whale Day is a family-oriented, alcohol-free event (coolers are not permitted). World Whale Day is also home to the original “Made on Maui” artisan fair where dozens of local artists will be showcasing their unique, locally crafted wares available for purchase at special festival prices.
World Whale Day is a green event with many eco-friendly features, including the use of biodegradable, compostable and reusable products. There is free off-site parking and shuttles to Kalama Park available. Pacific Whale Foundation also provides space to other local environmental groups and green businesses working to preserve and promote the island’s natural resources. Maui residents and visitors alike can enjoy all that World Whale Day has to offer for only $5 per adult. Admission is free for keiki ages 12 and under. The Parade of Whales is free and open to all spectators and participants.
For more information on the festival, the parade or other Pacific Whale Foundation events, visit mauiwhalefestival.org or call Annie Alvarado at (808) 856-8346. To learn more about Pacific Whale Foundation or to book your ocean Eco Adventure, including whalewatching, snorkel trips, dinner and holiday cruises, visit pacificwhale.org or call (808) 249-8811 ext. 1.
Image Credit: Pacific Whale Foundation