Special Events in Kaanapali

Maui Onion Festival
Kaanapali residents and visitors celebrate the famed Maui Onion in May at Whalers Village on Kaanapali Parkway. Touted as the sweetest onion on earth, the Maui Onion has inspired this special festival since 1990. The event kicks off with a Maui Onion pairing dinner on Friday night, followed by a full day of festival events and entertainment Saturday. Events include a recipe contest, games, an onion eating contest, chef demonstrations, and live entertainment. Festivalgoers can refresh and refuel at the event's beer garden and myriad food booths. Admission to the Maui Onion Festival is free.

Maui Marathon
For more than four decades, runners have traveled to Maui to participate in the annual Maui Marathon. Starting in Kahului and finishing in Kaanapali, the 26.2-mile course traverses the Kuihelani Highway, the Pacific Ocean and in view of the extinct volcanic crater of Molokini. Other events and distances include a half marathon, the Maui Tacos 5k run, the Warrior Challenge, the Run Forrest Run Front Street Mile and the Hard Rock Cafe 10k run. The September event is a Boston Marathon qualifier.

Maui Channel Swim
Touting itself as the only inter-island relay swim for masters, the Maui Channel Swim starts at Kaanapali Beach Hotel and ends in Maui. Six swimmers from each team take turns swimming in 30-minute and then 10-minute increments until the team crosses the finish line. The Maui Channel Swim offers plenty of friendly competition, particularly between Australian and American teams. Swimmers compete in various categories depending on swimmer gender and age. An escort boat is assigned to each swim team to ensure swimmer safety and assistance. The event is held in September.

Kaanapali Fresh - A Culinary Experience
Kaanapali Fresh is a new three-day event highlighting the Kaanapali coast as a premier location for culinary experiences. Event attendees can sample chef menus, learn about Maui-grown produce and participate in a number of land and sea activities. Hosted by the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association, the events include a Food and Wine Festival, Agricultural Tour of Maui Coffee, a progressive dining experience, Maui Farmers Market and Sunday brunch.

Cliff Diving
At sunset each evening, in a special cliff diving ceremony reenacting the triumphant act of Maui's King Kahekili, torches are lit along the cliffs of Puu Kekaa and a diver plunges to the ocean below. The Puu Kekaa, or Black Rock, cliffs line Kaanapali Beach's northernmost point.