Story by Susanne GnagyWith its cool, fragrant weather and enduring paniolo (cowboy) history, Upcountry Maui has a singular charm. On December 5th, three of the region’s historic sites will combine their Christmas traditions to transport visitors and residents back in time to a Vintage Hawaiian Holiday. “We’re bringing back the feeling of old Hawai‘i,” says Marcy Lynn of Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center.
Located one mile below Makawao town at Kaluanui Estate, a 1917 mansion designed by famed architect C.W. Dickey, the Hui will showcase handmade gifts created by Maui artists, along with holiday wreaths hand-fashioned from protea and other local flora gathered from private gardens.
In Kula, the Haleakala Waldorf School’s Holiday Faire promises an enchanting day for the whole family, offering live music, a bake shop, a Turkish bazaar, and a cornucopia of activities for children, all set against the rustic backdrop of the old Kealahou public school campus.
Finally, Makawao town—the crossroads at the heart of Upcountry—will celebrate the season with a day of pony rides, carolers, sidewalk artists, and a local farmers’ market. As dusk approaches, the community will gather around the town’s well-known Norfolk pine. “Auntie” Rose Freitas, a member of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame, will ride in, decorated head to hoof in Christmas garb, to light the star.
Ask yourself, where would you rather be?