As far as I could tell, The Maui Onion Festival is a county-fair feeling celebration of their famous sweet bulb in Kanapaali's upscale Whaler's Village. Not a structured presentation of various interpretations or uses of the veg, which is what I was expecting, but more of an open, free-for-all feel complete with magic shows, a beer garden and face painting for the kids.
There were local food vendors too. Menu items weren't onion-centric but worth noting:
A container of incredible, flavorful noodles from The Hyatt Regency went down easy.
And the fiery Korean tacos from Maui Fish and Pasta were the perfect compliment.
But, the highlight of the day were Hula Grill's onion rings. We stood on a very long line for their only offering and it was well worth the wait.
Crisp, light and flavorful in a light beer batter, the rings were wonderful.
All in all, we didn't leave any more enlightened about the onion than when we came but we had a fun and entertaining Saturday lunch by the beach. We will definitely be back next year!