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50th anniversary events beginning around state


As Hawaii prepares to mark its 50th year as a state, the Hawaii 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission is sponsoring events across the state. 

These events are giving communities on the Big Island, Kauai, Maui and Lanai the opportunity to commemorate this important moment in Hawaii’s history and reflect on where our state is headed in the next 50 years. 

“Statehood was a major turning point for our state, and 50 years later, we are proud of everything we have accomplished. I hope the residents of Hawai‘i will show their pride in our island home by attending local commemorations and learning more about our state’s history,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, chairman of the commission. 

Festivities on the Big Island include: 

•  In Hilo on Aug. 14, a commemoration ceremony is 6-9 p.m. at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The event will feature remarks from Mayor Billy Kenoi, a free concert at 6:30 p.m. by The Makaha Sons and cultural performances. 

• On Aug. 23 in Kona, a statehood event is being held 1-4 p.m. in conjunction with the Kailua Village Business Association’s Alii Drive Stroll. 

On Kauai: 

• Since July, visitors and kamaaina have enjoyed musicians and hula dancers at Lihue Airport. The entertainers, funded by the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission, perform 9-11 a.m. and 6:30-9 p.m. The program is scheduled to continue through September. 

• The Statehood Commission is sponsoring the Kauai Mokihana Festival on Sept. 20 and 21. Go to for information about the shows. 

On Maui: 

• In Hana, “50 Years of Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance” will be celebrated Aug. 21 at Hana Beach Park, beginning at 11 a.m.  Entertainment will include Eddie Kamae and The Sons of Hawaii, who are also observing their own 50th anniversary. There will also be Hawaiian craft demonstrations, food and movie showings. 

On Lanai: 

• On August 15, a statehood event will take place from noon-4 p.m. at the Four Aug. Resort Lanai at the Lodge at Koele. It will feature lei-making, information on Lanai’s history, and music and hula. 

In addition, time capsules are being buried throughout the state, helping Hawaii’s residents preserve this special moment for future generations. 

On Oahu, the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission will host a commemorative conference Aug. 21, at the Hawaii Convention Center. 

The one-day conference, titled “New Horizons for the Next 50 Years,” will bring together Hawaii citizens representing different industries and interests, to reflect on the accomplishments Hawaii has achieved since becoming a state, while exploring the vision for Hawaii’s next 50 years.   

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