September Musical Marathon

Maui Marathon

The Hawaiian Serenaders had 4 gigs in 3 days

While runners ran in the oldest marathon west of the Rockies, The Hawaiian Serenaders had our own musical marathon performing 4 gigs in 3 days. Whew! This was our 6th year of entertaining at the Maui Marathon under the same race director, Rudy Huber. We look forward to our annual trek to Kaanapali – it’s like a “staycation” since we stay overnight in a hotel. This year the Maui Marathon was Friday, September 19 to Sunday, September 21. New this year was our gig on Friday, and so we stayed two nights at Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

The photo was taken at our first gig on Friday inside the Westin Hotel ballroom for the “Health and Fitness Expo” for runners. This was the first time we brought our vocal harmonizer and asked the sound guy to plug it into his sound system. It worked great! We both sat comfortably while performing, which made it easier to press the foot pedal on the vocal harmonizer.

Afterwards, as we were getting water to drink outside the ballroom, a man walked up and asked,Aren’t you the Ukulele lady? I see you on YouTube.” I was thrilled to be recognized for the ukulele videos that I put on my channel. Come to find out he lives near us in upcountry Maui – how funny is that?!  Later we enjoyed sunset dinner at Mala Ocean Tavern along Front Street in Lahaina. Since we don’t go out to dinner very often, when we do, it’s such a treat. The gourmet sauces were so tasty and the presentations divine.

Saturday morning we enjoyed breakfast with oceanfront views to the island of Molokai and Lanai. The day was so clear we even saw a sliver of the west side of Oahu. The Aloha Mixed Plate restaurant in Lahaina was the first place we ate at when we visited and then moved to Maui in 2000. The island style menu with local prices is great. Afterwards, we walked around Lahaina Cannery Mall, the only air conditioned shopping center on Maui. It was the perfect place to be to beat the heat. In fact, in anticipation of the high temperatures, we heard the Marathon was starting earlier at 5:00 a.m. rather than the usual 5:30 a.m. from Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului.

Saturday afternoon we returned to the Westin for the same time slot of 2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. It was fun to compare notes with musicians who played before and after us. Of course, Mike the MC asked for our “Maui Marathon” song, and we obliged with our custom song that we made up years ago for the event. Mike kept telling people to like my Facebook page (which you can do by clicking here.)

Saturday night we performed at the Pasta Party from 5:00-5:45 p.m. New this year was the location outside Paradise Grill at the beginning of Kaanapali parkway. It was hard to miss the large tent. Before we started, the two MCs, Joseph Teipel and a Japanese interpreter, told us they had a presentation just for the Japanese during our time slot. We decided to play the popular Japanese song “Sukiyaki” when that time was near, and it worked out great! Afterwards, we enjoyed the food and the entertainment. The hula halau after us did a great job, followed by Tahitian dancing and a Samoan fire knife dancer. This was the best pasta party ever!

Sunday morning we walked from the hotel to perform at the Finish Line from 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. It was so hot outside that even the plastic Finish Line deflated, perhaps because the pump to keep it inflated overheated. The cheerleaders found themselves with a new job – holding the Finish Line up over their heads until the pump was fixed. After our set, we were surprised to see our contact in charge of entertainment, Pohai Dias, getting ready to perform. She played bass and sang with her group of 4 women. We enjoyed listening to their soft rock. Afterwards, we drove to Kapalua for brunch at Pineapple Grill. The restaurant is on the golf course with views across the tennis courts to the ocean. What a wonderful way to end our Maui Marathon weekend!

Aloha, Mele Fong, aka Ukulele Mele