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Fourth of July celebrations across the island

Hawaii 24/7 Staff

New venues for select events in Hilo

Persistent rain and soggy field conditions have prompted the county’ Department of Parks and Recreation to move certain 2012 Hilo Bay Blast events to different Hilo venues.

To avoid damaging the Kamehameha Avenue soccer fields, the July Fourth classic car show, live entertainment and skateboarding competition will be held at the Hilo Bayfront Park canoe landing area.

Live music, dancing, a classic car show, cooking contest, band concert, and fireworks display will be among the free events at this year’s July Fourth celebration in Hilo.

Sponsored by the Hawai’i County Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the State of Hawai‘i and community organizations, the biggest-ever 2012 Hilo Bay Blast will be an alcohol- and drug-free event that promises to appeal to everyone from keiki to kupuna.

The Pahoa VFW Post 3830’s will kick off the Independence Day festivities with its “A Salute to Our Veterans” 2nd Annual Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk starting at 7 a.m. at Lili‘uokalani Gardens. For online registration, please visit

Ribs and chicken at the Hilo Bay BBQ on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Ribs and chicken at the Hilo Bay BBQ on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Returning again this year will be the two-day Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off, an internationally sanctioned competition serving as the Hawai’i State Championship. The barbecue cook-off will start at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, at the Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field.

The three-time U.S. barbecue champion from California, two Texas teams, and Oahu’s defending champion will join local chefs in competing for $3,000 and the honor of representing Hawai‘i in the World Championship Invitational Barbecue competition Oct. 22 in Lynchburg, Tenn. Judging begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, for the chili, chicken, pork spare ribs, pork, and brisket categories. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m. in the parking lot.

Hawai‘i Classic Cruisers’ Car Show & Shine will feature hundreds of classic automobiles staged for public viewing along the park’s makai lane, which is the former section of Bayfront Highway located between Pauahi and Manono streets. Part of the 10-day-long Cruise Paradise 2012, the car show will be held from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Vehicles from as far away as Texas and Florida will be driven around Hawai‘i Island during a series of public displays and island-wide runs. Accompanying the automotive enthusiasts will be television personality Dennis Gage, who will be in Hilo on Independence Day to meet fans, sign autographs and film a new episode of his long-running “My Classic Car” cable TV show.

Accompanying the car show will be a variety of dancers and musicians who will perform near the park’s canoe judging stand from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Making space for the car show and stage will be the Hilo Skate Plaza Coalition, which has graciously agreed to move its “Street Seen” team skateboarding competition to the park’s mauka lane, near the Pauahi Street intersection. Skaters will be performing between noon and 5 p.m.

To display aloha for the visitors, the July Fourth Car Show & Shine will feature performances by Hula Halau O Na Pua Uluhaimalama under the direction of Kumu Hula Emery Aceret and the Tapiti Tahitian Group. Also, musicians Esther Zamora, Bonnie and Doug, Randy Lorenzo and Friends, Ol’ School Band, and Tomi Isobe Blues Band will entertain attendees. The free performances start at 9 a.m. and will continue until 4:30 p.m.

A variety of children’s games and contests, a waterslide, and a jumping castle will be offered starting a 9 a.m. at the Mo‘oheau baseball field. The adjacent bandstand will be the site for interactive activities such as Zumba, line dancing and special performances by local musical groups.

Also, a free drive-in movie night will be held in the Civil Air Patrol’s parking lot on Kekūanaō‘a Street, near Hilo International Airport. That’s where “American Graffiti” will be shown from approximately 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. Food and drinks will be available from on-site vendors.

People seeking shade or rest may visit the Kupuna & Ohana Comfort Station area at the makai soccer field along Kamehameha Avenue. There they will find 30 tents available for free, shared use, on a first-come, first-served basis, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Helping everyone get around will be the Mass Transit Agency, which will be running free Hele-On shuttle service to various activity sites from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Parking will be available in the downtown lot near the Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and at the Hawai‘i County Aupuni Center. The shuttle route will run from the civic auditorium, through Banyan Drive and along Kamehameha Avenue to the bus terminal before heading back along Kamehameha Avenue and up to Aupuni Center. Patrons should wait for the shuttle at the bus shelters along the route. Other Hele-On service will operate according the normal holiday schedule.

To celebrate Independence Day, the Hawai‘i County Band will perform a patriotic July Fourth Concert at the Mo’oheau Bandstand beginning at 7 p.m.

The Lehua Jaycees will again provide an Independence Day fireworks display from Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island, starting at 8 p.m.

To ensure safe viewing spots along the shoreline, the Bayfront Highway will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4. Gates at the Mo’oheau Bus Terminal, Mo’oheau Park ball field and adjacent soccer field will be opened to allow pedestrian access to this area during the fireworks exhibition.

Personal fireworks are prohibited at all beaches, parks, harbors and on roadways.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminds all vessel operators to observe safety regulations. The vessel-viewing area is located north of the green ship channel markers and west of a line of sight connecting the end of the break wall and buoy No. 3 to Pauahi Street traffic lights.

For more information, please contact the Culture and Education Division at 961-8706 or Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or

2012 Hilo Bay Blast Event Schedule (July 4, 2012)

  • 7 a.m. – VFW Post 3830’s “A Salute to Our Veterans” 2nd Annual Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk at Lili‘uokalani Gardens
  • 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Kupuna & Ohana Comfort Station operates at the makai soccer field along Kamehameha Avenue
  • 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Free Hele-On shuttle service from Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal, Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and at the Hawai‘i County Aupuni Center to downtown events
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Hawaii Classic Cruisers’ Cruise Paradise 2012 Car Show & Shine at the former section of Bayfront Highway located between Pauahi and Manono streets. Dennis Gage, host of the “My Classic Car” cable TV show, will be on hand to sign autographs and greet fans.
  • 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Hula halau Hula Halau O Na Pua Uluhaimalama and the Tapiti Tahitian Group will perform at the Kamehameha Avenue mauka soccer field, along with musicians Esther Zamora, Bonnie and Doug, Randy Lorenzo and Friends, Ol’ School Band, and the Tomi Isobe Blues Band.
  • All Day – Various children’s games and contests, a waterslide, and a jumping castle will be offered at the Mo‘oheau baseball field. The adjacent bandstand will be the site for interactive activities such as Zumba, line dancing and special performances by local groups.
  • 11 a.m. – Judging starts for the Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off categories at Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field
  • Noon-5 p.m. – “Street Seen” team skateboarding competition at the Hilo Bayfront Park canoe landing area
  • 5 p.m. –Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off winners announced at Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field
  • 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Bayfront Highway will be closed. Gates at the Mo’oheau Bus Terminal, Mo’oheau Park ball field and adjacent soccer field will be opened to allow access to this area during the fireworks exhibition.
  • 7 p.m. – The Hawai‘i County Band will perform patriotic music in the Mo’oheau Bandstand
  • 8 p.m. – Lehua Jaycees’ fireworks display from Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island
  • 10 p.m. – Bayfront Highway reopens

Hale Halawai Pavilion Opens for July Fourth Events

The county Department of Parks and Recreation announces the opening of Hale Halawai Pavilion in Kailua-Kona for July Fourth festivities.

Food booths, live entertainment and a children’s bouncing castle will be offered at the popular Alii Drive park on Wednesday, July 4.

The food concessions and bouncing castle will be available starting at 3 p.m., while the live entertainment will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Hilo road closures

Bayfront Highway (Rte. 19) from Waianuenue Avenue to Pauahi Street
* Closed 6 a.m.-10 p.m. July 4. Alternate route is on Kamehameha Avenue Lihiwai Place
• Closed 6 a.m. July 4 to 10 a.m. July 5

Kuku Street and Bishop Street
* Closed 3 a.m. July 3 to 10 p.m. July 4.

Road closure information phone number: 961-2350

Parker Ranch honors mater navigators at rodeo

Parker Ranch will celebrate its 50th Annual Independence Weekend Rodeo and Horse Races on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena in Waimea.

This year, Parker Ranch wanted to honor someone who embodied the core mission of the Trust through a positive impact on tje island community. However, rather than one person, two men who continue to make an outstanding contribution to the community and youth, this year’s honorees are Chadd Paishon and Shorty Bertelmann.

Both are master navigators and active members of Na Kalai Waa Moku o Hawaii whose mission is to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and navigation techniques. They assisted in the construction of Makalii and several other voyaging canoes and are veterans of numerous voyages in the Pacific.

Rodeo action begins shortly after the 9 a.m. grand entry parade and continues non-stop until noon.

The Parker Ranch July 4th rodeo provides an opportunity to see Hawaii’s cowboys in action while enjoying local food, keiki activities with the “kids favorite,” pony rides, and new this year, a petting zoo.

Tickets for the Sunday July 4th event are $5 per person in advance or $6 at the gate. Presale tickets are available at the Parker Ranch Store in the Parker Ranch Center, Waimea and at all Minit Stop locations around the island. Children 10 and under are free.

For more information, call 808-885-7311 or visit

17th Annual Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade

The Kailua-Kona Community Parade Association has chosen as the Grand Marshals six members of the U.S. Armed Forces who served active duty during the Vietnam War era.

The Grand Marshals will be representing the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and Army National Guard.

The parade 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 4, starting at Kekuaokalani Gym/Pool Complex on Kuakini Highway. The parade will proceed south on Kuakini Highway, past West Hawaii Today, to Palani Road, to Alii Drive, and then south on Alii to Walua Road just past Coconut Grove Marketplace.

A grand Fireworks Extravaganza over Kailua Bay, provided by Hawaii Pyrotechnics and Explosives, starting around 8 p.m.

For further information,

Waikoloa Beach Resort Family Fourth & Fireworks

Food, games and entertainment will fill the day that will finish off with a fireworks display on the Kohala Coast. The Kings’ Shops and Queens’ Marketplace will both host games and entertainment lasting throughout the day.

Starting at 10am, check out the 21st Annual Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race at the Kings’ Shops. Proceeds between the two venues will benefit Hawaii Island’s Food Bank and United Cerebral Palsy of Hawaii.

The full day of fun will end with evening fireworks beginning at 8 p.m. over Waikoloa Bowl at Queen’s Gardens. No charge for admission to fireworks and concert. Nominal charge for some games and activities will benefit the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

For more information visit or call 886-8822.

Chef Ippy Aiona, Hawaii’s own Food Network Star, cooks up a little competition at Kings’ Shops

Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona, who is currently competing in the 8th season of the Food Network Star; is cooking up a little competition of his own for his fans at the 21st Annual Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race at Kings’ Shops in Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Starting at 11:45 a.m., Aiona will host a “Chopped” style food competition between two local amateur chefs, Darde Gamayo and Kelvin Dela Cruz, vying for a prize from Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea.

Local farms in Waimea – Mitchell’s Farm, Nakamoto Farm and Aganus Farm – will all donate locally grown products and produce for the competition.

Solimene’s Restaurant owned by Ippy’s parents and where Aiona is the executive chef, will host the pantry and chef help. Three guest judges will preside over the competition.

Be one of the first 500 to arrive at 9:30 a.m. and receive a free Kings’ Shops goodie bag filled with promotions and discounts and a rubber duckie.

For more information call 886-8811 or visit

Turtle Independence Day at Hawaii’s Mauna Lani Bay

This July 4 come celebrate the 23rd annual Turtle Independence Day at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows – a free community celebration that sees Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu), an identified threatened species, released into the freedom of the open ocean in the form of a traditional Hawaiian ceremony.

The sea turtle is the only indigenous reptile of Hawaii, evolving some 180 million years ago, and has become a significant symbol of the Islands. It represents longevity, safety and mana (spiritual energy) and Native Hawaiians consider it the bearer of good luck and peace.

Since 1989 Mauna Lani Bay has received 3-5 month old juvenile honu from Oahu’s Sea Life Park and has raised them in the saltwater ponds of the resort. The honu are raised for 2-3 years and attentively cared for until they grow to a size and weight that is classified as healthy for release into the ocean.

More than 200 honu have been released into the pristine waters in front of the resort since the program’s inception.

As part of the day’s activities, guests can also enjoy educational displays about the honu and a BBQ with classic July 4 fare showcasing Hawaii Island grown produce.

BBQ from 9:30 a.m. – 12 noon. Honu celebration from 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

For further information, visit

11th Hawaii County Democratic Party Picnic in Kona

The 11th Annual West Hawaii Democratic Party Independence Day Picnic on Wednesday, July 4, at Makaeo Main Pavilion (old Kona Airport) will be teeming with elected officials, candidates, patriotic music, food and door prizes valued at $2,000.

More than 18 Democratic candidates from all across the state, plus party leaders and friends will gather for a traditional free, family friendly Independence Day Picnic from 2:15-4:30 p.m., and then participate in the 17th Annual Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade at 5:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to participate in the picnic to celebrate American Independence and the right and responsibility of voting.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Councilman Pete Hoffmann, neither of whom are seeking re-election, along with 18 candidates vying in the Aug. 11 statewide Primary Election, have committed to attend.

The large number of candidates includes many new faces largely because the 2010 census followed by reapportionment and redistricting precipitated major shifts in district boundaries and also created a new State Senate seat for Hawaii Island.

In the past, Hawaii Island had only three Senators. Addition of the fourth Senate seat – for a total of seven instead of six neighbor island state Senators – represents a major shift in leadership at the Legislature, which has been historically dominated by Honolulu since statehood.

Each candidate for public office at the picnic will be available to talk-story with voters. Also available will be voter registration forms and information and Absentee Ballot request forms for the Primary Election.

The Democratic Party family picnic will feature music, singing and July 4 food favorites including hot dogs, chili, a variety of salads and desserts, beverages and snacks. All door prizes will have been contributed by the Democratic Party candidates.

Following is a full list of candidates who have confirmed their attendance:

* U.S. Senate: Ed Case

* U.S. Congress District 2: Rafael del Castillo, Tulsi Gabbard, Mufi Hanemann, Esther Kiaaina and Bob Marx

* Hawaii State Senate – Districts 3 and 4: Josh Green, Lorraine Inouye and Malama Soloman

* State House of Representatives – Districts 1, 4, 5, 6, 7: Kalei Akaka, Denny Coffman, Cindy Evans, Fred Housel, Bucky Leslie, Nicole Lowen and Brittany Smart

* County Council – Districts 7, 8 and 9: Karen Eoff, Brenda Ford and Margaret Wille

For more information, visit:

Volcano Village 4th of July Parade & Silent Auction

Starting at 9 a.m. at the Volcano Post Office, the parade proceeds down Old Volcano Road to the Cooper Community Center.

The silent auction runs 9-11:30 a.m. at the Cooper Community Center.

Matson schedule changes

As a result of the Wednesday, July 4 holiday, as well as observance of the ILWU holiday, “Bloody Thursday,” on Thursday, July 5, Matson’s vessel schedule for the week beginning July 2 has been revised.

All West Coast ports will be closed for 24 hours, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 5.

Vessel schedule:

* Long Beach: The Manulani 083W will depart 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 4 and arrive 5 p.m. Sunday, July 8 in Honolulu. The terminal in Long Beach will be open Wednesday, July 4, and there is no change in cargo cut offs. Also, The Mokihana 255W will depart 6 a.m. Saturday, July 7 and arrive 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 in Honolulu. No change in cargo cut offs.

* Oakland: The Mahimahi 257W will depart 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 3 and arrive 5 p.m. Saturday, July 7 in Honolulu. No change in cargo cut offs. The Mokihana 225W will depart 6 a.m. Thursday, July 5 and arrive 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 11 in Honolulu. Terminal will be open from 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 4 to 3 a.m. Thursday, July 5. Cargo cut off is 2 a.m. July 5.

* Pacific Northwest: The Maui 783W will depart Sunday, July 8 and arrive in Honolulu Saturday evening, July 14. There will be no change in cargo cut offs in Seattle or Portland.

* Hawaii: Wednesday, July 4, Honolulu container yard will be open 6-11:45 a.m. and Hilo/Kawaihae container yards 7-11:30 a.m. Kahului and Nawiliwili container yards are closed July 4, in observance of the holiday. There is no impact to cargo availability. Normal cut offs for delivery of eastbound containers will be in effect.

* Guam: There will be no impact to the vessel schedule or cargo availability. Normal cut offs for outbound cargo will apply.

For further information, visit:

Fireworks Permits

Fire Chief Darren Rosario has announced fireworks permits will be issued beginning Friday, June 29, at the following locations for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.

The sites are:

* Fire Administration Office located at the County Building, 25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2501, in Hilo: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 29 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. July 2 and July 3

* Fire Prevention Kona Office located at the West Hawaii Civic Center, Bldg E, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Kailua-Kona: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 29 and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. July 2 and July 3

* Pinky’s store in Papaikou: 964-5858

* Thunder Fireworks, 75-1022 Henry Street, Kailua-Kona

* Rodney Freitas Fireworks, Old Chevron Station on Kamani Street, Pahala

Each permit costs $25 and will entitle the holder to purchase up to 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will be issued to persons 18 years of age or older, are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Setting off of fireworks is allowed only between the hours of 1 p.m. and 9 p.m. July 4. Permits should be visibly displayed at the site of use on July 4, at the time of the firing.

Permits are not required for novelties and paperless firecrackers.

Rosario reminds the public that it is illegal for anyone to:

1. Remove the powder or pyrotechnic contents from any fireworks;

2. Throw fireworks from a vehicle;

3. Set off any fireworks: At any time not within the time period allowed; Within 1,000 feet of any operating hospital, nursing home, home for the elderly or animal hospital; In or on any school building or property; On any highway, alley, street, sidewalk or other public way; in any park, or within 1,000 feet of a church during the periods when services are held.

4. It is illegal for any person to offer for sale, sell, or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minor to possess, sell, set off, ignite, or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except under the immediate supervision of an adult.

The Hawaii Fire Department also asks everyone to do their part to prevent fires and injuries caused by fireworks:

1. Have a water hose connected to a water source or a fire extinguisher readily available. Wet down surrounding brush if need be.

2. Children playing with fireworks shall be under adult supervision at all times. Even the smallest of fireworks can cause serious injuries.

3. Fireworks should be set off in a safe area away from dry grass, buildings, vehicles, and flammable materials.

4. Dispose of used fireworks properly by soaking in water prior to disposal.

For more information on purchasing fireworks permits, or the use of fireworks, call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 or 323-4760.

Fireworks safety advice from HELCO

Hawaii Electric Light Company urges the public to use caution if celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks.

Carefully set up and use fireworks in an area clear of overhead power lines. Do not string fireworks on utility poles.

Don’t use metal ladders or poles near power lines. Keep any type of ladder, pole or tie lines used to set up fireworks at least 10 feet away from power lines. Overhead power lines are energized and could be dangerous.

If an object should become tangled in an overhead power line, don’t try to free it.

Call HELCO’s trouble line at 969-6666. Call 911 if it is an emergency.

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