HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the first time in 14 years, we have themed this year’s Celebration of Life -- ”Honoring our Heritage.” It’s truly a celebration to honor the memory of loved ones passed as well as the many cultures that make up Hawaii Island’s unique and culturally rich community. This year’s Celebration of Life will be held at Reed’s Bay Beach Park, on May 25th from 330p – 730pm, previously it was held at Wailoa Park.
A pre-event will begin with a Ride for a Cause from Reed’s Bay to Kau Hospital to meet & greet patients. Motorcycle Riders and Classic Car Cruisers will all don a special glow in the dark bracelet to bring awareness to supporting Keiki Bereavement and the Celebration of Life. These Celebration of Life bracelets are available for sale online for $10. Return of the riders to Reed’s bay will signal the beginning of the program.
Luminaries to decorate are also available online and at the event for $25. Food trucks will be offering delicious faire throughout the event, in addition to shave ice and the traditional Obon treat andagi donuts. Educational information about programs and services will be provided by Hawaii Care Choices, American Cancer Society, Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi, Alzheimer Association and Malama Ka Pili Paa Cancer Support.
All parking will be at the Civic Auditorium with free continuous bus shuttles beginning at 230p to Reed’s Bay with the last bus leaving Reed’s Bay for the Civic at 830p.
Hawaiian protocol by Aunty Aloha Bezilla will open the Event program. Followed by a Color Guard performed by the Civil Air Patrol LFC Squadron. Hula performances from Keaukaha’s own Kupuna Halau O Kawananakoa who will be serenaded by recording artist Ben Kaili . Hailing from Puna will be Kalapana’s Awa Band singing the best in contemporary Hawaiian music. Rounding off the list of talent will be the Hilo Bon Dance Club and Tsukikage Odori Kai Dancers bringing all to their feet with their most popular Bon, Line and K-Pop dance favorites. Obon event towels are also available on online now for $5.
As the sun dips into the horizon participants will ready their lanterns and line up in the Lights of Remembrance procession along Banyan Drive fronting Reed’s Bay. Multi-faith prayer and blessings will be provided by Reverend Junshin Miyazaki (Buddhist), Father Apolinario Ty (Catholic), Rabbi Rachel Short (Jewish) and Kahu Bradford Kaiwi Lum (Hawaiian) prior to the launch of lanterns at the the shoreline. Special ocean mats will roll from the sidewalk to the ocean to allow easy access for all to release their lanterns safely, including those with walkers and wheelchairs. The singular sound of the Hawaiian nose flute performed by Hawai’i Island Recording Artist, Manu Josiah will fill the air to signal the beginning of the lanterns release. The entire event will culminate with hands joined across the bay as all voices rise in unison singing “Hawaii Aloha, ” led by Kumu Leilehua Yuen.