East Honolulu fireworks show brings community together

John Tilton
John Tilton

By Stephen Florino - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (KHNL) -- The fireworks show at Ala Moana Shopping Center is one of the most popular. But there's another one starting for those on the east side of Oahu.

And this party has a purpose.

Residents in Hawaii Kai join together to start Independence Day at Maunalua Bay. It's for celebrating the Fourth, but it's also meant to unite, and to educate.

Organizers get the final touches ready for the big party.

Independence Day at Maunalua Bay is an idea born about a year ago, giving East Honolulu residents a celebration of their own.

"Just to provide an event, an alternative to all the other crowded events that are wonderful all over the island," said organizer John Tilton. "But an event that actually represents Hawaii Kai, in the heart of Hawaii Kai and the people."

"I can tell you that none of us knew one another when we started," said Cha Thompson. "Today, we're leaving a legacy of friends."

Rhe group came together, recruiting vendors for food and entertainment. But this celebration also serves as an educational experience.

"One of our other goals was to increase awareness, for those of us who live in Hawaii Kai, on what this area is really about," said Linda Char. "What historically this area holds for the people that live here."

Part of the proceeds are going towards a scholarship for students from the area, who want to continue to raise awareness of what Maunalua Bay means to Hawaii Kai.

"So looking at it right now, it's rather exciting," said Tilton. "Beautiful weather, and everything's turning out better than expected. so we're blessed for that."

"We're really just hoping that people come down, have a wonderful time, being with their family," said Char.

Henry Kapono and Afatia are among the entertainers scheduled to perform. The fireworks show is scheduled for 8 P.M.