What does July 4th and the annual King Kamehameha Parade have in common?
They are both popular events across the islands of Hawai`i. And the Polynesian Cultural Center loves to join in the fun. Read on to learn more about the GINORMOUS 4th of July event held at the Hukilau Marketplace last week and our participation in the yearly King Kamehameha Day Parade in Honolulu in June.
July 4th arrived with a BANG!
By Quinney Sua’ava, Blog Coordinator
Each year, the Hukilau Marketplace at the Polynesian Cultural Center hosts the 4th of July event, far exceeding their typical normal attendance of 500 – 600. Guests traveled from across the island to take part in the carnival games, live music, and of course, to view the free fireworks!. After a year of uncertainty, Hukilau Marketplace Director Francis Ho Ching and his team believe this year’s festival was just what the community needed. Attendees filled the Hukilau Marketplace on Monday evening to celebrate America’s 246th birthday. When the standard parking lots were full, guests were relocated to the BYU-Hawaii Administration parking lot and two selected grass fields to handle the many vehicles that arrived as the festivities were underway.
What a spectacular evening! The crowd was respectful, the food was delicious, the fireknife performers were amazing and the fireworks were magnificent. The island music was just what we needed to get into the spirit of the 4th of July. And seeing people coming together, reuniting with their loved ones, sharing the fun with games—it all made this event successful.
When Director Ho Ching was asked if this event met his expectations. He responded: “Above and beyond expectation. I’m very excited for everybody who came out to support us. This is the first one in about 3 years because of COVID. We really want to put this out for our community and to bring everybody back together. So, it’s been amazing; the turnout has been amazing!”
Some of the exciting moments from the 4th of July celebration
The kids were having the best time ever! Our mini carnival games were available for children ages one to eighteen. Activities included booth games (basketball shooting, ring toss, face painting, water gun shooting), a bouncy house slide, rock climbing, a plastic ball play pin, dunk tank, hatchet throwing and much more.
The food vendors at the festival were a sight to see! They lined up around the parking lot, serving all kinds of specialty food and local cuisines. The food was delicious!
There were also prize giveaways to anyone participating in games during the live entertainment intermission.
The black sky was filled with fireworks, which dazzled and amused the crowd. People were in awe watching, admiring, and enjoying the magnificent display.
Comments from the appreciative attendees
Some of the crowd was asked about their favorite things from this 4th of July celebration, all shared positive comments and showed excitement and appreciation.
Comments we received included:
- Local resident, Margaret Blodak, “I love being outdoors! It’s relaxing to be outside, and I love to see people happy and enjoy themselves.”
- The Togia’i family, who are attending BYU-Hawaii shared that the event was “A great place to enjoy family time.”
- Lanett Hoching, who also lives on Oahu noted that “people are alert and have pure joy. You feel safe. This is what America is!”
- Vivian Prochaska, who is attending the July 4th activities for the first time shared, “I love the whole event. The atmosphere, fireworks, all so enjoyed.”
- The Baldeviso / Domenden families have not been able to see fireworks for a while because of the Pandemic. “We drove all the way from Pearl Harbor in Honolulu because my five-year-old daughter said “Mom, we have to go see the fireworks!”
The Center employees showing their enthusiasm
Last, we acknowledge all those who paved the way and were involved in making this event possible for our visitors and locals each year. If you’re planning to attend next year, check out the Hukilau Marketplace website and all our social media channels for the event schedule. We’ll see you and your loved ones at the 2023 July 4th celebration.
Representing the Center at the June 11, 2022 King Kamehameha Day Parade
By Harley Charlebois, Copy Editor
The Polynesian Cultural Center is extremely dedicated to their community, which is why their hosting and participation in certain events is so important to everyone involved. The Center was happy to host thousands for their fantastic festivities on the 4th of July and they were honored to be able to participate in the annual parade commemorating King Kamehameha Day held annually in June.
One of the many things that stood out from the parade event was the joy and excitement radiating from all who attended. According to our brilliant videographer Tania Delinila, “There was a lot of excitement among the performers and the crowd. It felt as if there were no problems around the world as I saw people with big smiles on their faces, cheering, and participating in the event.” The passion of our performers was contagious!
Make sure to check out this great video of the parade from our outstanding videographer, Tania Delinila!
On behalf of everyone at the Center we would like to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to all those involved in making both of these events unforgettable. Despite the challenges of the day, the 4-mile parade trail, and the 86° heat, the performers never lost their enthusiasm. These dancers were ready with a smile for everyone and received thousands of smiles and cheers in return.