By: Stephen Florino
HONOLULU (KHNL) - There was a huge kickoff Sunday for a month-long celebration for what some say is Hawaii's greatest asset -- our keiki. Thousands came out to enjoy food, fun, and entertainment at the "Children's Day" celebrations.
"It's a great event for families and kids," said Terry Kwok.
It also kicks off Children and Youth month in Hawaii -- the only state honoring its young ones.
"It's a time to celebrate children and to honor them," said state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, an organizer for the event. "We have this kickoff every year and it's grown a lot."
This event started 13-years ago. It's grown from 300 people in 1994, to about 30,000 today, with close to 200 information booths, rides and games for the kids.
"They have a lot to offer," said Teresa Ellis. "It's good that they're creating a better awareness of the services available to different families."
'We get so caught up with work and extra things that we do on our daily lives, so it's nice to see everybody out here enjoying themselves," said Michelle Mederios.
The celebration is a big party for families to enjoy, but there is also a serious message organizers want to send to parents -- nuture our keiki, because they are our future leaders.
"We went them to have a good foundation and want them to be better people in the community," said Kwok.
"If we are able to support them, they will be able to be very contributive young people and adults throughout their life," said Chun Oakland. "When they feel love, they can do so much for not only Hawaii, but for the world."