Maui Whale Festival celebrates winter Humpback Whales

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Photo courtesy of the Pacific Whale Foundation

Humpback whales are seen off Maui’s shores from November through mid-May, with the action peaking in February when the largest numbers are present to mate, give birth and care for newborn calves.

The Maui Whale Festival honors these whales and the next generation they’re bringing forth. Like whale season, the festival runs November through May, and “peaks” in February with a bevy of popular events.

“During February, you can see whales in almost every direction,” says Greg Kaufman, President of Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF), the nonprofit host of the Maui Whale Festival. “We honor and celebrate these remarkable animals through the Maui Whale Festival.”

The signature event of the Maui Whale Festival is World Whale Day, an outdoor celebration at Kihei’sKalama Park in February. Admission is free. It begins with Maui’s Parade of Whales, followed by live entertainment featuring popular Hawaii recording stars and hula. You’ll find food booths, a children’s carnival, whale displays and more. Sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Maui Office of Economic Development and Expedia Local Expert.

“Whale and marine experts from across the U.S., as well as noted marine photographers from Hawaii, will share discoveries, photos and video with the public, at free evening presentations at the Westin Resort and Spa in Kaanapali and on special whalewatch cruises.

Other activities include a Run and Walk for the Whales that offers 5K and Half Marathon courses, plus a 2K kids course, starting at Makena Beach and Golf Resort, and a Tribute to Whales photo exhibit.

The Great Whale Count enlists citizen whale counters along Maui’s shores.

Learn more at or call Pacific Whale Foundation at 1-800-WHALE-1-1.

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