Fans, stars flock to Waikiki for 'Hawaii Five-0' red carpet event
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The cast and crew of "Hawaii Five-0" walked the red carpet at Queen's Beach in Waikiki Friday night for the show's 8th annual Sunset on the Beach screening.
More than 10,000 people attended the event including 100 veterans and members of the military who were invited as special guests.
On the eve of Veteran's Day, the show's producers wanted to honor them.
"The soldiers and anyone in the armed services, active or not active, they are inspiring for us and our stories," said Hawaii Five-0's Executive Producer Peter Lenkov.
Before the exclusive screening of the show's 175th episode (that's set to air nationally on Nov. 17), cast and crew members stopped on the red carpet to take photos and greet fans, many of them traveling from around the world.
"If this is close to heaven as I'll ever get, I'm glad that I'm here," said Gloria Schmidt, who flew to Hawaii from Texas in hopes to meet actor Alex O'Loughlin.
The show is now in it's eighth season. In previous years, the beachfront screening took place before the season premiere, but Lenkov said it was postponed this year due to scheduling conflicts.
In July, key actors Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park confirmed their departure from the show following contract disputes.
It was a change, fans and fellow cast members, had to get used to.
"It was a little odd in the beginning, but it's like we didn't miss a beat and that piece right there is testament to the show and how much we all put into it," said actor Alex O'Loughlin who plays character Steve McGarrett.
"We miss them, but God Speed, those guys have big things to do," said Taylor Wily who plays Kamekona.
With the change came new cast additions, including Meaghan Rath. Beulah Koale and Eddie the Dog.
"I just have a good time acting with these people, they are all super talented," Rath said. She plays the character, Tani Rey.
Koale made his Hollywood film debut as a lead in the feature film "Thank You for Your Service." Born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand, he hopes his acting career will inspiring others who may look up to him.
"I'm out here representing not just myself and my family, but Polynesian people out there in the world," Koale said. "I just want you guys to know that it's possible and change is happening and we're going to take over this place."
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell were also among the thousands in attendance.
"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips performed the national anthem before the screening, that's not set to air nationally until Nov. 17.
"Hawaii Five-0" airs on KGMB on Fridays at 8 p.m. Hawaii time.
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