Maui Fair returns for 89th anniversary


Over the years, there have been some unusual happenings at the fair, inlcuding a bull who weighed over one ton and escaping barnyard fowl. The Maui County Fair returns Sept. 29-Aug. 2 at the War Memorial complex in Kahului.

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

The annual Maui Fair, formerly the Maui County Fair, will celebrate its 89th anniversary on Thursday, Sept. 29 at War Memorial Stadium. To kick off the four-day event, the Maui Fair Parade will begin at 4:00 p.m. Gates will open to the general public by the end of the parade at 5:00 p.m.

Admission prices are the same as last year. Adult tickets go for $7, children 5-11 are $3 and children under 4 are free.

The newest activity entry is the Events Arena. This stage will be located in front of the stadium pool on the lawn and will feature local entertainment and activities.

“We try to add new events and activities every year to the fair to keep it current and interesting,” said Maui Fair Managing Director Sherri Grimes.

The fair is an annual event that attracts many each year. While having fun with friends and family, keep safety in mind. Grimes suggests, looking both ways twice before crossing the road. She said drivers often get distracted by the lights and noise coming from the fair.

She also advises that fair goers should be aware of their surroundings and always pay attention to what is going on around them.

“The management of the fair has a primary focus and that is to present to the community a safe and fun event for all,” Grimes said.

You don’t have to wait until Thursday to enjoy the fair. Here are some fun facts to read while you wait for the real fun to begin:

Largest number of fair goers on single day?

A total of 31,658 people attended the fair on Saturday, Oct. 2004. Saturdays are always the busiest days, followed by Sundays. Thursdays are least crowded.

Most interesting object placed in the lost and found?

A diamond ring in 1995. Directors and management of the county fair could not figure out how the ring slipped off the person’s finger, but it was later returned to its rightful owner.

How long does it take to assemble the rides? 

With a crew of 15, working 10+ hours a day, it takes about three days. The Musical Express takes the longest to assemble because of its complexity.

Heaviest animal exhibited?

A bull estimated to weigh over 2,200 lbs. claimed the title as heaviest animal in the livestock exhibit. The heaviest animal that has been brought to the fair was an elephant, weighing over four tons or 8,000 lbs.

Any animals escaped?  

In past years, only the smaller animals and poultry have escaped. Owners of these animals were not surprised because incidents like these are common. There have been no serious escapes from the livestock exhibit.

Fair’s previous locations?

The Maui Fair was not always held at War Memorial Stadium. In 1989, the Maui County Fair was relocated to the War Memorial complex. Prior to that, the fair was held where the Ford car dealership is currently located. The first fair was held at Wells Park in Wailuku.

Number of participants in the parade?

Last year, there were over 5,000 participants in the parade. When the fair had just begun, in 1918, there was no opening day parade.  “It’s by far one of the most looked-forward-to days and activities of the fair,” Grimes said.

Estimated number of fair goers?

Approximately 90,000 people are estimated to attend the fair this year. According to the Maui County Population Census for 2010, Maui, the third most populated island, has a population of 154,834 people.

This story originally ran in our print edition 9/23/11. Since then, it has come to our attention that beginning in 2011, this event is called the Maui Fair, not the Maui County Fair. Revisions to that effect have been made since the initial printing.