How was your weekend? Mine was filled with thoughts of days gone by on the sugar plantation on the west side of Maui.
For the past four years, the Lahaina Restoration Society has held an annual event under the old Pioneer Mill smoke stack, Lahaina Plantation Days. The event draws Maui residents and visitors with live entertainment, best of Lahaina dining and historical exhibits.
I worked the event Friday night on behalf of HC&S and the Maui County Farm Bureau and on Saturday night I returned with my dad who grew up in Pu’ukoli’i Camp. The food selection was onolicious and worth the drive over the pali. Garlic noodles from Star Noodle, sweet potato quesadillas from The Sea House Restaurant and Roselani ice cream (passion fruit? I’m not sure but trust me it was delish) put a smile on my face.
This year the historical exhibits focused on the businesses that lined Front Street during the heyday of the Lahaina Plantation Days. Antique objects and spaces were created for the Bank of Maui and the Hop Wo store using original signage, baking pans over a century old and milk jugs, just to name a few. There were also photos of Front Street then versus Front Street now. Issues of the old Pioneer Mill newsletter were displayed that included ads for touting sugar as a weight loss aid! There was also an article from a newspaper on how the polio vaccine was disseminated during the 1960s using sugar cubes, making the medication easier to take.
Like last year, they displayed the maps of the different villages for the sugar workers including names of the residents. As we entered the event, gathered around the maps and walked through the exhibits, dad ran into many people he knew or were related to those he knew growing up. Like last year, through my posting of pics of the even on social media, I also discovered my family knew the family of friends including fellow Maui blogger’s SoPupuka‘s grandmother. Seeing him reminisce and connect with so many people from his past touched my heart and made me realize how important an event like this. My heart swells with appreciation and gratitude for the hard working volunteers of the Lahaina Restoration Society who pull it all together because this opportunity to come together again means so much to many like my dad.