Ever since Maui lost the Hula Bowl (college football’s version of the Pro Bowl), the biggest annual event to come to Maui has got to be the Maui County Fair. The four-day island affair is celebrating its 88th anniversary this year, as it opens up to the public on Thursday.
For those mainlanders visiting Maui over the next weekend, it is important to understand that the Maui County Fair is quite possibly the most celebrated event on Maui, even more popular than our famous Halloween shenanigans that occur on Front Street. Many youths on Maui have never been on full-scale speedy roller coasters found at parks like Disneyland and Six Flags, so when portable rides like the Zipper and Ring of Fire come to town, the lines wrap city blocks.
Besides rides, the Maui County Fair offers countless other forms of entertainment. Head to the Baldwin High School gymnasium and peruse the cultural art displays and work created by Maui’s top student artists. Explore an outdoor entrapment holding prized livestock such as sheep, chickens, goats, cows, and more. Grab a seat in the outdoor auditorium and watch live bands, hypnotists, comedians, and magicians perform. Test your luck at the countless carnival games that offer huge prizes.
My favorite aspect of the Maui Fair is THE FOOD! Maui is already a melting pot of cultures, but the Maui Fair food booths bring Japanese food, Hawaiian food, Filipino food, Thai food, and Portuguese food together under one “roof.” Sample authentic meals that you have only seen on the Travel Channel. Whatever cuisine you decide to sample, be sure to stop by the malasada booth for dessert. The warm donut-like Portuguese dessert will tickle your tastebuds.
All in all, the Maui County Fair should not be missed if you find yourself visiting the Valley Isle this upcoming weekend. Admission ranges from $3 – $7 depending on age. Hours of operation are 5pm – Midnight on Thursday/Friday and 10am – midnight on Saturday/Sunday. The fairgrounds are located in in Kahului at the War Memorial Complex (about 10 minutes from the airport).
[Photo source: kali]