Maui Arts & Entertainment

Resident Hell-Bent on Paia Earning No. 1 “Happiest” Title

May 9, 2013, 4:45 PM HST
* Updated May 9, 4:49 PM
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This is where you can put the disclaimers that none of this is real, not that it will do any good. (Thanks, that’ll work. -Ed.)

By Vanessa Wolf

Welcome sign to Paia. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Welcome sign – and crucial (yet obscured) warning about feeding the hippies – outside Paia. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Having learned that Paia was voted the eighth “Happiest Seaside Town in America,” resident and trust-fund baby Stephan Higgs became incensed.

“Eighth place isn’t winning,” grumbled Higgs. “Sure, we made the list, but if it were the happiness Olympics, we wouldn’t have even come close to receiving a medal.”

Not content with ranking in the top 10, Higgs has launched a one-man effort to transform Paia into the “happiest place on earth” and seize the gold in 2014.


When informed that the slogan was already in use by Disneyland and Disneyworld, and what he might actually be referring to was Coastal Living’s annual “Happiest Seaside Town” rankings, Higgs became flustered. “Look, I just came up with all of this last night after hearing the news. There are kinks to be ironed out here.”


As part of his plan, Higgins has proposed several bold tactics to ensure that Coastal Living grants Maui’s “Historical/Hysterical Plantation Town” with next year’s top honors.

The first involves a continual stream of “happy” music. So far, the playlist is said to include “Walking on Sunshine,” By Katrina and the Waves, Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” the Rocky theme, and anything/everything by Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Higgs has also proposed an ordinance to fine anyone whose car, business, or residence is heard playing music by The Smiths, Radiohead, or Nick Cave within one mile of the Hana Highway/Baldwin traffic light.


“We can’t have music talking about how ‘Heaven knows I’m miserable now’ playing in the happiest seaside town,’” Higgs explained indignantly.

This is just a mob, but wouldn't it be cool if they were performing a choreographed dance - to an Usher song, perhaps - in Paia.

This is just a mob, but wouldn’t it be badass if they were performing a choreographed dance. To an Usher song, perhaps. In Paia.

Other plans include a town mascot in the form of a costumed volunteer. “I’m thinking maybe something like a dog or a monk seal or maybe a turtle,” he said, in between tokes from a joint.

He envisions the costumed individual being “on the streets and available for photo ops and hugs.”

Higgs doesn’t stop there.

“You know what would be great? A fairytale castle. I think the parking lot by the post office would be a perfect spot. I’d also like to see a nightly parade and fireworks show, ponies dressed up to look like rainbow unicorns, and confetti. Lots of confetti.”

He believes the plan is fool-proof.

“We’re going to win this thing by a landslide. Beaufort, South Carolina – this year’s winner – can kiss my unemployable butt. Paia deserves that title, and if it takes a few little changes like hired actors, heat stroke-inducing costumes, fake unicorns, and nine confetti cannons, then so be it.”

Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (

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