Hawaii Democrats prepare for inaugural gala in Waikiki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Democrats prepare for inaugural gala in Waikiki

Kelly Hoen Kelly Hoen
Royal Hawaiian Executive Chef Hans Stierli Royal Hawaiian Executive Chef Hans Stierli
Chuck Freedman Chuck Freedman

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Factor in the time difference, and Hawaii will be the last to celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration. On Tuesday in Waikiki, the Hawaii Democratic Party is hosting a gala, as a toast to the historic ceremony.

A landmark rich with Native Hawaiian history, will soon be the center of another historic moment.

"To have the who's who of Honolulu here and to really signify such an incredible time in our history with Obama as our President," said Kelly Hoen, Royal Hawaiian General Manager.

In the Monarch Room, the Hawaii Democratic Party will host its inaugural gala. The buzz is the menu, which is based on Obama's background.

"We are starting with the Hawaiian station, where, he, obviously very local, where he came from. And then we have the Chicago station where he moved. After, we have the Indonesian station for his mom, and we're going to have the Kenyan station to honor his dad," said Royal Hawaiian Executive Chef Hans Stierli.

The celebration is a toast to diversity, marked by Hawaii's own multi-cultural leadership.

"The historic highlight really will be the son of Governor John Burns, then Governor George Ariyoshi, Governor John Waihee, and Governor Cayetano - Caucasian, American-Japanese ancestry, Hawaiian ancestry, and Filipino ancestry, toasting this new President," said Chuck Freedman of the Hawaii Democratic Party.

And now with Hawaii-born Obama as the first African-American to head the oval office, for the Aloha State, the historic inauguration hits home both politically and personally.

"No where else in America is strength and diversity demonstrated more than right here in Hawaii, and we're proud that out of all this came Barack Obama," said Freedman.

Tickets are still available, and you can get them at the door when the inaugural gala kicks off Tuesday evening. The event is the first one booked at the Royal Hawaiian since the iconic hotel closed in June for a multi-million dollar makeover.

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