Ahh, October—time for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin mochi and Hawai‘i-grown pumpkins. Aloun Farms, which celebrates its 10th year of educational tours this year, hosts an average of 15,000 students at its annual pumpkin patch. Event coordinator Michael Moefu says the student tours run Tuesdays through Fridays. “They learn a little bit more about agriculture, not just pumpkins,” he says. “Corn, sunflowers, beans and over a dozen different varieties of pumpkins.”
This is also the 14th annual Pumpkin Festival at Aloun in Kapolei, which is open to the public the last three weekends of October from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 91-1440 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, 677-9516, alounfarms.com.
It’s been one tough year to raise pumpkins on Kohala Mountain.
The crop has been hit with the triple whammy of a mouse plague, cut worms and a tropical storm that stressed the plants so much they dropped their flowers.
None of this has deterred the Kohala Mountain Farm Pumpkin Patch from opening for its eighth year of Halloween pumpkins, food, rides and other attractions. While visitors to the farm — which commenced a fun-filled month Saturday — may see fewer pumpkins than in previous years, they’ll find expanded offerings in other areas.
“All we could do was laugh and carry on,” farm manager Benjie Kent said.
Visitors can hop on a wagon for a tour of the fields. The ride, pulled by draft horses and offered by Naalapa Stables, is new this year. The petting zoo has been expanded and there is a new miniature pony cart ride and cake walk. Musical offerings have been expanded as well, with the Pau Hana Pickers set to play several days and Beyond Paradise out of Hilo set to play Nov. 18.
Families can have their photos snapped by a sign painted with height markers. If they come back each year, they can take photos showing how their child is growing. And there are plenty of opportunities for snapping the obligatory shots of kids in wheelbarrows with pumpkins.
The farm recently added an observation platform made with lumber donated by HPM Buiding Supply. The platform gives a good view down the coast and into the corn maze so observers can help their friends find their way out — or confuse them further.
Central to this year’s story at the 23-acre educational farm on Kohala Mountain Road, however, is the shortage of fruit suitable to be carved into jack-o-lanterns.
LAHAINA — Visit Lahaina Gateway for its “Pineapples and Pumpkins” celebration during Halloween weekend.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., join Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company for free Maui Gold pineapple samples, demonstrations, pineapple recipes, pumpkin treats, special sales at participating stores and entertainment.
Michael Kollwitz, with his Solo 12-string Chapman Stick, will perform jazz and blues with a Hawaiian flair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Enter to win fresh pineapples and prizes during the event at the seating area by Foodland Farms.
From 4 to 7 p.m., keiki 12 and under can go trick-or-treating at stores and restaurants throughout the center.
Also for children 12 and under, the Keiki Costume Contest begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Hula Girl Fountain. There will be ten total prizes for the best pineapple and best pumpkin-themed costume, plus most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume (under two years old).
King Kamehameha III Elementary School’s keiki fall decoration winning entries will be on display again this year. Instead of donating pumpkins this year, Lahaina Gateway brought them cases of freshly harvested Maui Gold pineapples from Hali‘imaile Pineapple Company.
These creatively decorated Halloween pineapples will be on display at the stores for everyone to enjoy beginning Oct. 30.
Bring the family and enjoy great shopping and dining at Lahaina Gateway. For information, call Patti Link at 661-3311.
A CELEBRATION OF PINE AND PUMPKINES IN LAHAINA
Lahaina Gateway is presenting its “Pineapples and Pumpkins,” a celebration of Halloween, Haliimaile Pineapple Co. and more on Saturday. Free pineapple samples, demos, recipes, treats and store sales will be offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with entertainment provided by Chapman Stick musician Michael Kollwitz from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Then, stores and restaurants will participate in keiki trick-or-treating from 4 to 7 p.m., with a keiki costume contest at 5:30 p.m. that will award best pineapple theme, best pumpkin theme, most frightening, most original and best Halloween baby costume. Trick-or-treating is for ages 12 and younger. For details, call 661-3311
St. Anthony School kindergartner Kulia Kaufman, 5, browses through the selection of pumpkins while visiting the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Pumpkin Patch on Monday. St. Anthony preschool, kindergarten and 3rd-grade pupils visited and each child was able to take home a pumpkin. The keiki had a chance to hear stories and learn about pumpkins. Members of the public will also have a chance to choose among seven pumpkin varieties during a harvest event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Visitors then can also take part in craft sales, face painting and dental hygiene demonstrations, and savor a sample of soup.