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Maui Fair is canceled for a third year in a row. That hasn’t happened since WWII

The last time that happened was during World War 2
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:09 PM HST|Updated: May. 16, 2022 at 9:23 PM HST

WAILUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The fair won’t be coming to Maui this year — and that’s leaving many residents and vendors disappointed.

It’s the third year in a row the annual event has been cancelled.

The last time that happened was during World War II.

It’s an annual event the whole community looks forward to.

“We love the food. The food’s really good, and we like to go shopping, and we also love to play games,” said Kula resident Brenna Liu.

Brenna and her husband Kapena have been going to the fair for as long as they can remember. They were hoping to take their daughter Remi, who will turn three next month.

“We’re sad to hear the news. We look forward to going to the fair yearly and we have a little one that hasn’t been able to go and experience what we’ve experienced all of our lives,” Liu said.

Earlier this month the Maui Fair Alliance announced the cancellation blaming high shipping costs and lingering staff shortages.

“It would be extremely difficult to bring any large Joy Zone event to Maui this year and its costs would be very prohibitive, somewhere in the neighborhood of over $300,000 just for shipping,” said Maui Fair Alliance President Avery Chumbley.

The first fair came to Maui in 1916.

Over the years it’s grown, in size and popularity. It averages about 90,000 people over four days.

A lot of vendors like churches, clubs and non-profit organizations rely on the fair for finances.

“In the history of the fair, it was canceled two times during World War I, three times during World War II,” Chumbley said. “Now, this will be three times during the COVID pandemic situation, and it was very difficult hard decision to make.”

The Liu family, like so many others on Maui, are hoping they will someday have the chance to create more fun fair memories.

“We were looking forward to it, but I guess we’ll try again next year,” Liu said.

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