7. PLAY UNDER AN ENORMOUS BANYAN TREE
There is a small park along Front Street in LAHAINA sheltered by an ENORMOUS BANYAN TREE where quiet contemplation, impromptu picnics and the frequent outdoor art show are commonplace.
One of the largest banyan trees in the United States, the Front Street tree was imported from India and planted in 1873 in COURTHOUSE SQUARE to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Lahaina's first Christian mission. Today, it stands 60 feet tall, and spreads over 200 feet in an area commonly called BANYAN TREEPARK.
The banyan's 12 MAJOR TRUNKS stem from one huge core—yes, those trunks all belong to one tree. See, banyans have dangling roots that grow downward, seeking soil, and when the roots connect with the soil, new trunks begin to form and the tree expands. That is why from this single banyan, branches spread over the park like a jungle canopy, perfect for relaxation, reflection or kanikapila (a Hawaiian term for gathering together and playing music).
ARTS-AND-CRAFTS FAIRS are held in the park throughout the year, and are often accompanied by LIVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC. During the holidays, the tree is lit with thousands of Christmas lights.