Drawing in the crowds as usual will be the 23rd annual Maui Onion Festival Saturday at Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurant at Kaanapali Resort.
With continuous entertainment on two stages, it’s always a draw because it’s fun for the whole family.
Highlights include the Maui Onion Eating Contests for keiki and adults, live music, cooking contests, chef demos with free food samples, other food booths, a beer garden and vendors.
Admission and parking are free and the fun activities will run all day long from 9:45 a.m. until after dark.
“Whalers Village signature event since 1990, Maui Onion Festival will be even more dynamic than ever, summoning the creativity of Hawaii’s greatest chefs, and drawing a crowd for free culinary samples and a fun-packed day,” says organizer Lisa Donlon, who is also the mall’s marketing manager.
“Here’s a chance to learn about Maui’s top upcountry agricultural crop through the dazzling interpretations of our island chefs and the great restaurants of Kaanapali. The highlights are many, including prime retail offers, music, and entertainment – which will provide a perfect balance for all that good food.”
Do stroll around the expansive mall with outdoor walkways and check out the Beach Front Lawn area as well as the Center Stage.
Maui Onions have long been considered among the best and most flavorful onions in the world. The Maui Onion only grows in the deep red, volcanic earth on the upper slopes of Haleakala, Maui’s world-famous dormant volcano.
Maui onions are a variety of sweet onion which are widely cultivated on the Hawaiian island of Maui, although they can be grown in other regions as well. Like other sweet onions, Maui onions lack the sulfur which causes the strong odor and sharp taste associated with onions. The State of Hawaii has invested a great of money in marketing their famous onion variety, putting it on par with Vidalia onions from Georgia, another sweet onion variety. Many markets carry Maui onions in season, along with other sweet varieties, and if you live in a temperate zone, you may be able to grow some yourself.
Hawaiian farmers claim that a true Maui onion must be grown on Maui, because this distinct onion cultivar flourishes best in the rich volcanic soil of Mount Haleakala, the dormant volcano which dominates the landscape of Maui. The volcano’s rich, distinctive red soil may well be responsible for the distinctive sweet flavor of the Maui onion, although the warm weather on the island probably has something to do with it as well.