Thousands expected to watch fireworks at Magic Island - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands expected to watch fireworks at Magic Island

Under full moon people poured into Ala Moana Beach Park when the gates opened at four a.m. Those who didn't set up their sites yesterday, hurried to get the perfect spot this morning.

"We're just gonna swim eat and have a great time, and watch the fireworks," said Diane Lenahan of Makiki who finally got a spot this year for July 4th celebrations.

Even in the darkness, the littlest of revelers prepared for the show.

I asked little Logan, what he was making in the sand this morning and he replied, "A hole."

"What are you going to do in this hole?," I asked.

"I'm going to be sitting here with my cousin Jason, while watching the fireworks," he emphatically replied.

As the sun started to rise, many beachgoers hit the water. Surfers and Stand Up paddlers took advantage of a high surf advisory for south shores that was issued this morning, while others caught up on their sleep. The goal - make it through the day to catch the Ala Moana 4th of July Spectacular - a fireworks display with more than 13-hundred shells going off in the night's sky.

In order to accomplish that, required lots of food, and cooking, of course!

Jamie Rodrigues has been coming out her for the past 17 years.

"It's been a yearly tradition for the family," she said. "So, all of my kids grew up coming to Ala Moana each year."

Sometimes its hard to rally the effort Rodrigues admits but she has lots of encouragement.

"When my mom says all this kind of stuff about, 'I don't think we're going next year,' I am like, 'No, Mom. We have to go," said Rodrigues daughter Joshlyn who was just 4 months old when for her first Independence Day at Ala Moana.

"Its been part of our family for so long," said Joshlyn. "I want to do it, I want to keep doing it for as long as I possibly can, so I hope she does too."

On America's birthday, many will don the colors, and others will post them. The meaning of Independence Day is not lost, especially on veterans.

"When you've fought for freedom, you know how important it is," said Retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant Orlando Perez. "So, I thank those servicemen who are in Afghanistan/Iraq right now, defending our freedom, to do what we do, right here. Because a lot of times we take things for granted, not really knowing that freedom has a high price to pay. So this is an honor to all my buddies who never made it back from Vietnam."

Honolulu police patrolled the area looking for parking violators, those with alcohol, pets, or fireworks which are not allowed inside the public park areas. As early this morning, they said things were so far, so good.

Portable restroom facilities have been set up to accomodate the estimated 45,000 people who are expected to pack the Magic Island/Ala Moana Beach Park area tonight. City crews are working around the clock to empty out trash cans and recepticles around the park, which quickly fill up.

The 14-minute show will include more than 1,315 shells and will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Click here for more information on fireworks shows and events across the state.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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