Photo: Amity Mason Photography
Whether you’re into hula or hard rock — or both — there’s always something happening on Maui. And this September, there are lots of festivals and events to choose from. We've narrowed down a few of our favorites:
Sept. 14 — 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This weekend, watch as elite paddlers from across the globe descend to Maui for one of the state’s most celebrated canoe races: the Pailolo Challenge. Spanning all the way from DT Fleming Beach in Kapalua to Kaunakakai, Moloka’i, teams of six paddlers come as far as Australia and Canada to test themselves against challenging channel crossing conditions.
The race spans 26 miles across the Pailolo Channel, notorious or being one of the windiest and roughest in the Hawaiian Islands. But that doesn’t stop hundreds of people from participating. And despite being one of the trickiest crossings in the state, the winning teams can often finish the race in about 2.5 hours.
Sept. 14 and 15 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you’re heading to West Maui to watch the paddlers test their physical and mental limits at the Pailolo Challenge, take a quick detour through Lahaina town to enjoy food, music and cultural celebrations at the Banyan Tree Hoolaulea. Bring the kids along for free keiki activities and plan on watching some of the best hula the island has to offer. Put on by the Festivals of Aloha, the group’s mission is to honor “Native Hawaiian culture and traditions from generation to generation, as well as share them with visitors and people from the community.”
Sept. 21 — Gates open at 5:30 p.m., begins at 7 p.m.
Take a trip back in time with Maui’s rock and roll legends to celebrate one of the greatests — Led Zeppelin. One of the most popular rock festivals on island, ZepMaui is a gathering of local artists who come together to honor one of the most acclaimed rock bands of all time. Head to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center for a night of live music, dancing and food under the stars. If purchased before the show, tickets are $45 for general admission and $79 for VIP.
Sept. 27 and 28 — 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Photo: Patrick Niddrie
September is a busy month at the MACC! At the end of the month, roots reggae legends will head to Maui for the two-day Republik Music Festival. On Friday, Sept. 27, watch and listen to Grammy-award winning Steel Pulse, Trevor Hall and the Original Wailers. The next day, hear from Tribal Seeds, Matisyahu and Groundation. Tickets are $39.50 for general admission or $79.50 for VIP, and you get a $10 discount if you purchase both nights at the same time.
Sept. 29 — 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Photo: Amity Mason Photography
It’s not often that you can listen to some of Hawaii’s best musicians for free. So on Sunday, Sept. 29, bring the whole family down to Wailuku for the 14th annual Maui Ukulele Festival, which features the most acclaimed ukulele musicians in the world. Sample ‘ono grinds and peruse made-in-Hawai’i craft booths while the sweet sounds of strumming on Hawai’i’ most beloved instrument fills the air. Ukulele master and teacher Roy Sakuma will serve as the emcee.