Hawai’i Island started its Independence Day events over the weekend, with a parade and festivities in Na’alehu and the Waimea Country Market at Parker School featuring July 4 activities and contests. But Wednesday is July 4, so most activities are set for then.
In Volcano, the parade will start Wednesday at 9 a.m., going from the Post Office to Cooper Center. There will be games, food, entertainment, and activities at Cooper Center afterwards.
In Waimea, the Parker Ranch Rodeo and Horse Races go from 9 a.m. until noon, at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena.
In Kailua-Kona, the County will open Hale Halawai for keiki activities and food, starting at 3 p.m. Entertainment starts at 6:30. The Independence Day Parade starts at 5:30 from the Kona Gym and Pool, going south on Kuakini, down Palani, and along Ali’i Drive to Walua Road just past Coconut Grove Marketplace. Six veterans will be Grand Marshals. Fireworks start over Kailua Bay, from a barge in the bay, starting around 8 p.m.
Waikoloa Resort will host the annual Rubber Duckie Release, with activities starting at 10 a.m. and going into the evening. The Master of Ceremonies at the Kings Shops at Waikoloa wil be Eddie O of LAVA 105.3 fm radio, with his morning show colleagues Israel Gonzales and Danny Jesser doing a live broadcast from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Rubber Duckie drop is at 3 p.m. but activities will go into the evening, including fireworks.
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows will have its traditional Turtle Independence Day, releasing young honu, green sea turtles, into the ocean. A barbecue starts at 10, with the turtle release activities going from 10:30 until noon. Since the program started, more than 200 honu have been released.
Coming up Wednesday, Hilo town is set for all-day activities as part of the Hilo Bay Blast:
The Pahoa VFW Post 3830’s will kick off the Independence Day festivities with its “A Salute to Our Veterans” 2nd Annual Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk starting at 7 a.m. at Lili‘uokalani Gardens. For online registration, please visit www.vfwpost3830.com.
Returning again this year will be the two-day Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off, an internationally sanctioned competition serving as the Hawai’i State Championship. The barbecue cook-off will start at 8 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, at the Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field.
The three-time U.S. barbecue champion from California, two Texas teams, and Oahu’s defending champion will join local chefs in competing for $3,000 and the honor of representing Hawai‘i in the World Championship Invitational Barbecue competition Oct. 22 in Lynchburg, Tenn. Judging begins at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 4, for the chili, chicken, pork spare ribs, pork, and brisket categories. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m. in the parking lot.
Hawaii Classic Cruisers is hosting Cruise Paradise 2012, a 10-day, island-wide tour starting Thursday, June 28, and involving hundreds of antique and classic cars that will culminate with a July Fourth Car Show & Shine at Hilo Bayfront Park canoe landing area. Vehicles from as far away as Texas and Florida have been driving around Hawai‘i Island during a series of public displays and island-wide runs. Accompanying the automotive enthusiasts will be television personality Dennis Gage, who will be in Hilo on Independence Day to meet fans, sign autographs and film a new episode of his long-running “My Classic Car” cable TV show.
“American Graffiti” will be shown during a special drive-in movie night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at the Civil Air Patrol facility at Hilo International Airport. Motorists entering the movie night will be expected to keep their vehicles inside the area until the event concludes. Attendees who park elsewhere may walk in, sit in the lawn-viewing area and then leave at their leisure.
To display aloha for the visitors, the July Fourth Car Show & Shine will feature performances by Hula Halau O Na Pua Uluhaimalama under the direction of Kumu Hula Emery Aceret and the Tapiti Tahitian Group. Also, musicians Esther Zamora, Bonnie and Doug, Randy Lorenzo and Friends, Ol’ School Band, and Tomi Isobe Blues Band will entertain attendees. The free performances start at 9 a.m. and will continue until 4:30 p.m.
A variety of children’s games and contests, a waterslide, and a jumping castle will be offered starting a 9 a.m. at the Mo‘oheau baseball field. The adjacent bandstand will be the site for interactive activities such as Zumba, line dancing and special performances by local musical groups.
The Hilo Skate Plaza Coalition will host a “Street Seen” team skateboarding competition from noon until 5 p.m. at the park’s mauka lane, near the Pauahi Street intersection.
People seeking shade or rest may visit the Kupuna & Ohana Comfort Station area at the makai soccer field along Kamehameha Avenue. There they will find 30 tents available for free, shared use, on a first-come, first-served basis, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Helping everyone get around will be the Mass Transit Agency, which will be running free Hele-On shuttle service to various activity sites from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Parking will be available in the downtown lot near the Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and at the Hawai‘i County Aupuni Center. The shuttle route will run from the civic auditorium, through Banyan Drive and along Kamehameha Avenue to the bus terminal before heading back along Kamehameha Avenue and up to Aupuni Center. Patrons should wait for the shuttle at the bus shelters along the route. Other Hele-On service will operate according the normal holiday schedule.
To celebrate Independence Day, the Hawai‘i County Band will perform a patriotic July Fourth Concert at the Mo’oheau Bandstand beginning at 7 p.m.
The Lehua Jaycees will again provide an Independence Day fireworks display from Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island, starting at 8 p.m.
To ensure safe viewing spots along the shoreline, the Bayfront Highway will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on July 4. Gates at the Mo’oheau Bus Terminal, Mo’oheau Park ball field and adjacent soccer field will be opened to allow pedestrian access to this area during the fireworks exhibition. The County will offer free shuttle bus service throughout the day, and offer free parking at Afook Chinen Auditorium and at 25 Aupuni Center.