The Hawaiian Serenaders performed 2 times in 2 days from Friday to Saturday, September 16-17. New this year, we played 15 songs from memory for both 1-hour sets, in addition to the song we wrote just for the event.
This was the 46th Annual Maui Marathon, the oldest marathon west of the Rockies, and the 7th most popular in the world. The finish line was changed from Whalers Village which is being renovated to Kaanapali Beach Hotel, and the starting line changed in Kahului.
What an experience just getting to the Maui Marathon as just days before there was massive flooding and cars over turned and floating in the mud along the shoreline due to heavy rain. It took us 1 ½ hours to drive to Kaanapali whereas normally it would be about 45-minutes. Traffic was slow going. We felt for the runners who had to deal with dirt and debris left on the shoulder of the road.
Similar to last year, we played both days at the Health & Fitness Expo held indoors at the Westin Hotel & Spa in Kaanapali. We returned to our musical roots by playing Hawaiian and hapa haole songs by memory so we could better connect with the audience. A side benefit was it was easier to show up with just our instruments and a small bag of electronic gear instead of hauling a music stand and music binder, too. Traveling light it better!
On Friday, September 16, we performed from 3-4 p.m., the only entertainers during the expo that ran from 12 noon-5 p.m. How fun to see vendors from last year come up and wave and clap to express their enjoyment of our music. New vendors also cheered for us, and one lady recognized me from my Hawaiian history classes at Kaunoa Senior Center.
On Saturday, September 17, we performed from 11 a.m. – 12 noon during the expo that ran from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mike Currier, the MC, took video of us playing “The Maui Marathon Do Run Run” song and posted it on Facebook.
This was our 8th year performing at the Maui Marathon and perhaps our last as race director Rudy Huber retires. We started the same year that Rudy started and have seen many changes through the years. If this is our last marathon, it’s been a good run.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele