Newly Cleared Beach Park Hosts Two-Day Easter Celebration

Jay Amina
Jay Amina

MAILI (KHNL) -- Maili Beach Park in Leeward Oahu was known as a haven for the homeless. But now, it's a place for food, entertainment, games and rides. Friday, members of the Ark of Safety Christian Fellowship prepared the park for their Easter celebration.

Even 10-month-old Laulea is getting into the spirit. Her grandfather and members of his Waianae church are setting up for their eighth annual Easter celebration.

"We have rides going on here, jumping balloons and all these things," Jay Amina, senior pastor, said. "Most of all, we have a lot of prizes for the children. Here, there's a lot of single parent raising their families, and a lot of children go without."

The cotton candy is being prepared, and the kids are already having a ball. But one thing's missing from Maili Beach Park from years past -- the homeless.

"This year, we don't see them here at all," Amina said. "You know, normally we would come in, they will be tents. And always, while we're setting up, they come out of their tents and find out what we're doing."

Last week, police and clean-up crews swarmed Maili Beach Park to break down tents and clear out the homeless.

"I pray and hope that they did find some homes or shelters with their families," Amina said.

He says church members are going around the community and inviting homeless people to join them for the two-day event. With the help of donations, they've set up a food distribution area and a clothing tent.

"We look forward towards having it because we believe it will help meet the needs of other people," Amina said. "And that's why we're here."

The event draws thousands of people each year. It runs through Saturday.