Painted Girl at HalloweenThis coming Halloween, 2008, will be the first in decades to not enjoy the cheerful costume contests and local booths in Banyan Tree Park. The Maui County Cultural Resources Commission denied permits for costume contests, live outdoor stages, and food and craft booths. Their reasoning behind this is to curb indecent and lewd behavior and to preserve the historical significance of the town. They maintain that the events surrounding Halloween do nothing to promote Lahaina’s cultural history.

There are 2, among many, reasons why the Cultural Commission has failed in their thinking.

– They feel that the Halloween event takes away from the cultural identity of the town. Please keep in mind that Lahaina is as well known for its whaling than the Ali’i that used to congregate here. Does every event have to reflect ancient Hawaiian history? It’s important to continue promoting the cultural significance of an area, but shutting down a successful event just because it doesn’t directly have historical references is rediculous.

When we say “successful event” we mean to state that it is one of the more peaceful and positive celebrations in Hawaii. Opponents will refer to the 24 arrests made last year for disorderly conduct. We ask them to name any event with anywhere from 25,000-35,000 attendees where there haven’t been some bad apples. When you do the math, the fraction of disruptive individuals compared to orderly attendees is miniscual.

– The one event being granted a permit for this Halloween in Lahaina will be the Keiki Costume parade. In their thinking, Keiki’s dressed as ghosts and cowboys are far less culturally destructive than an adult wearing a similar costume. What the Commission seems to be ignoring is that with less outdoor activities, adults will be forced to spend more time in the various bars that will be holding costume contests. This will lead to more alcohol consumption and more arrests due to drunk driving and disorderly conduct. If they would continue to allow outdoor activities (where alcohol is forbidden), Lahaina is more likely to see order and cheerful behavior.

The nighttime excitement of Halloween is always positive. This atmosphere is conducive to family fun and the Aloha Spirit. Lahaina Town is famous for its gatherings through the centuries. Promoting Ohana and Aloha is the real historical significance that should be respected and upheld.

Even though the events will be trimmed down, Halloween in Lahaina, Maui will again thrive this year with vehicular traffic being traded for costumed foot traffic. Hopefully after the commission sees how their ill attempts and closing the event are ineffective, maybe they will bring back permits for the many fun activities that we’ve enjoyed for almost 2 decades.


Aloha, o.k. so………we are going to be in Lahaina this year for Halloween, what gives? On a few websights it looks like it’s not going to be a party anymore. am I reading it wrong? We LOVE Maui & this will be our 8th trip, 1st time @ Halloween. Any info you have would be great.

Mahalo, Cassy

Halloween 2009 will still be on in Lahaina, Maui. This last year, it had tamed down a bit, but still had thousands of costumed people roaming around from bar to restaurant. The only difference is that the police are no longer blocking off the streets to vehicles, which is a bummer. Now the road is filled with taxis instead of a party parade. People are on the sidewalks enjoying the festivities.

It’s still a lot of fun, and probably the biggest Halloween celebration within our islands, but not quite as big as before. There is word out that Paia may take over the celebration on Baldwin Ave, but it’s still up in the air.

Last year was our third Halloween in Lahaina and until they go back to closing front street to car traffic it will be our last. I don’t know how the powers that be expect us to spend hard earned money to come to Maui only to have way too many people on the sidewalks. It was SO crowded you really could not enjoy yourself. In most places you could not stop for more than a few seconds without people bumping into you almost to the point of gentle pushing. For the same reason you really couldn’t enjoy most of the costumes. When Front street was closed there was enough room for everybody, you could enjoy the costumes, visit with people, go into and out establishments very easily it was a very pleasant experience. I used to encourage people to visit Maui for Halloween.

NOT ANYMORE, I go out of my way to discourage people from visiting.