Events for this year's Maui Whale Festival will include a variety of whale-watching excursions and a lecture series on humpback whales scheduled over several nights.

Hosted by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation, proceeds from the monthlong festival will be used to fund a variety of marine education programs, research efforts and conservation programs.

The festival was set to kick off Feb. 6 with the Run for the Whales 5-kilometer run/walk and half-marathon events on the Valley Isle's southern coast. Proceeds from the more than 800 runners' registration fees will be used to fund marine education programs for Maui schoolchildren.

Other events include the Feb. 19 Keiki (children) Eco Day followed by the highly anticipated Whale Day Celebrations and Parade of Whales on Feb. 20. The day's events will feature music performances, a craft fair, environmental exhibitions and children's activities.

Feb. 27 is the festival's Great Whale Count event, and March 6 will feature a fundraising Golf for the Whales tournament. For more information, visit

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI