7. PLAY UN­DER AN ENOR­MOUS BANYAN TREE

101 Things to Do (Maui) - - Essential Maui -

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.

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