City gears up for big July Fourth crowds

City gears up for big July Fourth crowds

KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City officials have a message for Fourth of July revelers: Have fun, safely.

If you're headed out for the holiday, it's also a good idea to check for special rules or road closures in place.

One of the big attractions on July Fourth will be the 70th annual Kailua Independence Day parade. The event is slated to kick off at 10 a.m. at Palapu Street and proceeds to Kailua Intermediate School on Kainalu Drive.

If you've never been, it's worth fighting to secure a spot along the parade route.

“The parade does include bands, horse units, keiki units, senior units, military units, and we'll have a few of our dignitaries here as well,” said Jody Sakaba, of the Kailua Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile, Kailua Beach Park will open at 5 a.m. on Independence Day. 

"There'll be no camping allowed, no tents allowed, no smoking, no alcoholic beverages," said Jeanne Ishikawa, deputy director of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. "Please, we want everyone to be safe."

For those planning to celebrate at Ala Moana Regional Park, here's some good news: The city will allow overnight camping so people can grab good spots early.

"Anyone who is interested can erect a canopy and up to two people can remain in the canopy overnight" said Ishikawa.

If you don't want to stay the night, plan on arriving early. The park will open at 4 a.m., and it's expected to fill up quickly.

Ocean Safety will be beefing up its staff to deal with the crowds.

"We'll have the full Jet Ski crew, an extra guy, an ATV and probably somebody in the tower," said Lt. Tony Ho.

The day will culminate with annual fireworks displays.  At Ala Moana, they'll go off at 8:30pm. In Kailua, a half hour earlier.

"People can look forward to a really great show, it's firing off of a barge here in Kailua Bay," Sakaba said.

Finally, police haven't had any credible threats, but in light of recent terror attacks domestically and abroad, they're asking for everyone's vigilance.

"If you see something, say something," said HPD Lt. Thomas Santos. "Let officers know, but it's everybody's responsibility to know what's going on around them."

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