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Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

December 28, 2010 - Trisha Smith
Groovy happenings to ring in 2011.

As you recollect upon the glories and gripes of 2010, and make resolutions for the future, it’s also imperative to tend to matters of the present time, like finalizing your plans for New Year’s Eve!

Before you wipe the slate clean and start anew, why not celebrate life among friends and revelers this Friday night, Dec. 31. Many have already decided where they’ll be when the ball drops, but in case you’re still contemplating, here are a few fun ideas to groove you into the new year, Maui-style.

If you wish to ring in 2011 upon the open sea, Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) is offering a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Cruise, departing at 10:30 p.m. from Mä‘alaea Harbor. There’s also two dinner cruises from PWF departing at 10:45 p.m. from Lahaina on Friday, giving passengers a chance to view the fireworks showcase near Läna‘i’s Manele Bay. Call 249-8811, ext. 1 for availability.

Zoom on into the New Year at the Fairmont Kea Lani’s “Totally Tubular” event, an awesome ’80s party on New Year’s Eve in Wailea. A rad reception kicks off this family-friendly evening at 7 p.m. with püpü, games, fortunetellers and keiki prizes, followed by a gourmet buffet featuring lobster and filet mignon. Then boogie on down to the ballroom for late-night fun before the countdown at midnight. Tickets are $250 (adults, 21 and over) and prices vary for each age group. Visit to learn more.

If you’re fortunate enough to still grab one, there may be a few tickets left to Tia Juana’s Beach Cantina stellar New Year’s Eve celebration on the West Side featuring the alluring dynamics of Maui rockers, The Throwdowns. The ferocious foursome will no doubt play a few fresh tracks off their upcoming sophomore album and provide partygoers with an intimate, rock ‘n’ roll show. Press your luck and call 667-4080.

Or opt for the down-home charm of Merriman’s this Friday night, which will serve up the organic excellence Brown Chicken Brown Cow—no cover—and feature their regular menu from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a festive four-course dinner from 8:30 to 10 p.m. for $125. Call 669-6400.

Get your groove on at Moana Cafe' and Charley's, or discover the artistic alchemy and cool beats that plan to ignite Casanova in Makawao this New Year’s Eve. Enjoy the sassy theatrics, exotic body painting, and Marasco and DJ Sid throwing down dance vinyl until close at the Makawao hot spot. Cover is $25 or $20 with dinner purchase. Dinner available until 9 p.m., and ladies get in free until 11 p.m. Call 572-0220 for details.

This year, the South Side will be booming on New Year’s Eve, and it’s not just because of any aerial pyrotechnics.

Cruz into 2011 at Stella Blues, who is doing it island style this New Year’s, delivering a double dose of sweet serenity with back-to-back shows from the Grammy-winning local legend, John Cruz.

Cruz will be joined by some special guests from Kaua‘i, cousins Sean and Frank Carillo, for this exclusive concert presentation within Stella’s coz Supper Club venue. On Friday night, the celebration begins at 8 p.m. featuring an “over-the-top” seven-course dinner. The cool show starts around 10 p.m., with a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $100.

Can’t make it Friday? No worries! On Saturday, Jan. 1, Cruz and his finely tuned band will return to the Supper Club lounge for an encore performance. The party continues with a four-course dinner starting at 6 p.m., and music starts at 7:30 p.m. New Year’s Day dinner packages are $60, but you can grab the show only for $30 per person. Call Stella Blues today at 874-3779 or visit

Consider cruising down to Mulligan’s On the Blue for a Willie K NYE Extravaganza, which features the talents of the folk soul sista, Gail Swanson, Ka‘ena Elaban and the full Willie K Band. You can opt for entertainment only for $20 in advance—$25 at the door—or take advantage of their $75 package, which includes admission, seating for the evening and an “eat-as-you-please” dinner buffet.

Think about rocking out New Zealand style at the Kiwi Roadhouse (no cover) or amuse yourself in “The Triangle,” with popular locals like the South Shore Tiki Lounge throwing a “Bling & Boas” soirée and Ambrosia’s NYE Extravaganza serving up special vibes all night long.

The Surf Lounge of Three’s Bar and Grill in Kïhei continues to groove nicely into South Maui’s social scene, and this New Year’s Eve, the trio is offering one of the most affordable and thrilling evenings on the isle. Three’s chefs showcase their fine culinary skills in a four-course dinner for $55, which includes three glasses of sparkling wine. Stick around after for the big show and experience a magnificent black light party, graffiti fun and live music from two of Maui’s hottest bands—Arise and MOTH. The fun and frisky quartet, Arise, kicks the chaos into gear at 9 p.m. with some superb and diverse island rock, and the first 50 guests through the door receive a colorful surprise that they can play with all night long.

Beam into the New Year experiencing the soul-throbbing forces of MOTH and a laser light show at midnight. The James(s) of MOTH never fail to provide an impressive showcase of musical antics and mystical creatures regularly frolic about during performances. Good times...

Three's Sruf Lounge will also be serving bubbly is $3 all night and cover is only $5 at the door the entire night. For more information, call 879-3133.

As for fireworks across the county, the fire departments said they would legally allow aerial activities from 9 p.m. on NYE up until 1 a.m., early Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011. Setting off fireworks outside these times could result in fines of up to $2,000.

When finalizing my events column—that will run in the upcoming print edition of the Maui Weekly—I was initially informed that there would be no organized, big fireworks show in South Maui this year. Now, though, I have learned that there indeed will be, as in Wailea’s case, a few hotels pulled together to provide an illuminating midnight spectacle off the barge near the Grand Wailea.

There will be three public fireworks displays in Häna below Fagan’s Cross and on Läna‘i at the Manele Bay Hotel.

Here’s the catch—only large displays and organized fireworks are allowed by permit-holding, registered private properties, or everyone has to go through the county is you have a certain number of explosives.

The public can check out everyone that registered in the county for a fireworks permit in the back of the daily newspaper, near the foreclosures’ section—or call the Maui Fire Prevention Bureau at 244-9161 for more information.

And don't forget to be safe and smart during this night of debauchery and delights, because there's nothing cool about starting off the New Year in the hospital or behind bars.

Peace. Love. Rock 'n' roll.


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Three's Surf Lounge is serving up an eclectic, electromagnetic affair this NYE. Flier courtesy of Three's Bar and Grill