Halloween is usually an exciting event wherever you are, but Halloween in Lahaina definitely steps it up a notch, and 2013 was no exception.
The County of Maui offered public transportation specifically for the event, with “Halloween Express” busses running directly to Lahaina from both the Kihei Aquatic Center and War Memorial Parking Lot in Wailuku. However, if you prefer to travel a bit more in style, the Pride of Maui offered a special Halloween Cruise running directly from Maalaea Harbor to Lahaina and back again.
Once aboard the beautiful double decker boat, we were treated to live music from a fun 3 piece band, premium cocktails, including local Maui beers, mai tais, margaritas and martinis, and a full meal, including artichoke dip, shrimp cocktail, baby back ribs, chicken breasts, asparagus, and cheese and crackers. Yum! Plus, we got to experience the beautiful West Maui mountains during sunset on the boat ride to Lahaina Harbor. They even held their own costume contest, hosted by the hilariously dressed Justin the Jellyfish, with prizes for 1st through 3rd place.
We arrived in Lahaina with two and a half hours to explore, which gave us some time to watch the official Halloween Costume Contest at Banyan Tree Park, walk up and down Front Street to see all the amazing costumes, and stop in the Pioneer Inn for some great live music. Since Halloween in Lahaina is known as the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific,” I was excited to see if it lived up to its name. While there is no public drinking, unlike Bourbon Street in New Orleans, it does give off a very similar vibe with thousands of people walking up and down the street while party people in Front Street balconies watch and cheer on from above.
People come from all over the world to experience Halloween in Lahaina, and even if you only go for the people watching, your expectations will be delivered, and then some. From a rolling, glowing, fully functioning DJ setup with Daft Punk and Deadmau5 to a Richard Simmons workout video to a dancing zombie “Thriller” flash mob, the turnout of elaborate costumes was nothing short of awesome.
Once we were back on the boat, it was time to sit back, relax, grab some dessert, and watch the craziness of Front Street disappear as we sailed back to Maalaea Harbor. The combination of the stars on a clear night, the live band and the view of Lahaina from the top deck of the boat was the perfect end to an exciting Halloween, island style. This may have been my first Maui Halloween, but it definitely won’t be my last. Party on, Lahaina!
Photos by Peter Rimkus