The County of Hawai‘i will celebrate Hawai‘i’s 50th anniversary of statehood with a special concert and celebration Friday, August 14, 2009, at Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A similar celebration will be held in Kona on August 23.
Special guests at the Hilo event will include former mayors of Hawai‘i County and dignitaries. The Makaha Sons will be the featured entertainers, and admission is free.
“We are looking forward with special anticipation to this celebration,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Everyone on the program has helped make our county what it is today, and their contributions over the first half-century of statehood will help to move us through the next 50 years.
“We owe these people a tremendous debt of gratitude, and on this special anniversary we wish to honor them with an expression of our thanks for their significant community service.”
Also on the Hilo program are Halau O Ke ‘Ānuenue, Big Island Portuguese Cultural Club, Hui Okinawa Taiko KoBuDo, Marie Onomura, Hawai‘i County Band, Hui Okinawa Shishimai, El-Leo The Jarican Express, Pam Ahuna, Waiākea High School NJROTC and Big Island Filipino Community Council.
In addition, 10 time capsules will be buried at locations around the Island of Hawai‘i with items that represent what life is like today for those who will open the capsules upon the 75th anniversary of statehood. The time capsules were provided by the Hawai‘i 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.
Suggestions for items to place inside the time capsules include a copy of the local newspaper, submissions from local schools, a proclamation from the mayor, or even a can of Spam.
“These time capsules are a way for us to reach out and touch future residents of our state, and share with them the Hawai‘i of 2009,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, chair of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.
A second county celebration of the statehood anniversary will be held in Kona in conjunction with Kokua Kailua on Kona’s Ali’i Drive. That event will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, August 23, with entertainment by Na Lei o Kaholoku and Makaha Sons, and a welcome message by Mayor Kenoi.
Ali`i Drive will be open to pedestrians only to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the restaurants, music, merchants and artists. Co-sponsors are the County of Hawai‘i, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Hulihe`e Palace, Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Kailua Village Merchants Association and Pacific Radio Group.
Funding for the event is being provided by the state through the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.
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