The West Hawai‘i community is invited to enjoy both a parade and fireworks this Monday, July 4. The Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The parade begins at the Kona Pool next to Kekuaokalani Gym on Kuakini Highway near Old Airport. It will proceed south on Kuakini Highway, past West Hawaii Today, to Palani Road, to Ali‘I Drive, and then south on Ali‘i to Walua Road just past Coconut Grove Marketplace. There will be about 69 festive entries. The community is invited to come dressed in their festive Independence Day outfits.
The theme this year is Celebrate Freedom. There will be multiple color guards to celebrate the birthday of our country. Several military organizations will be represented, including Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawai‘i National Guard, Big Island Military Vehicle Group, and Camp Tarawa Detachment #1255. The entries will feature music, skateboarders, roller derby skaters, dogs, and lots of festive holiday creativity.
The Grand Marshal will be five members of our Hawai‘i County Police and Fire Departments who have served our country in the military. They include Fire Fighter Recruit Dominic Marzi, Fire Fighter Paul Kekela Jr.,and Volunteer Fire Equipment Operator Clinton Haina. From Hawai‘i Police Department, the Grand Marshals will be Officers Kupono Mata and Thomas Koyanagi.
Announcing stations for the parade will be at West Hawaii Today, Remixx Lounge at King Kamehameha Mall, King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Tantes Restaurant, Boston Basils, Pancho & Leftys Cantina,Kimos/Uncle Billy’s, Waterfront Row, Island Lava Java, and Humpys at Coconut Grove.
Before the parade, there will be magic courtesy of The Great Arneleo at Kimos/Uncle Billy’s and music at Waterfront Row. The announcers at Pancho & Leftys will have an Independence Day Trivia contest (no prizes, just fun), and at Humpys, the two parade announcers dressed as Uncle Sam will provide frolic, fun, and trivia.
Many generous sponsors including the County of Hawai‘i, have contributed to provide a community fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.. The gala fireworks display will be from a barge in Kailua Bay, with pyrotechnics provided from a barge in the bay by fireworks production company Hawaii Explosives & Pyrotechnics, Inc. LAVA 105.3 fm radio will broadcast patriotic music before and during the display.
There are more than 50 generous community sponsors that have made the fireworks and parade possible. In addition to the two major sponsors, Hawai‘i County and Kona Commons, other significant donations have come from Queen Liliuokalani Trust, Coconut Grove Marketplace, Holualoa Management Corporation, Lanihau Properties, Inc., Royal Kona Resort, Rotary Club of Kona Community Foundation, Royal Hawaiian Movers, and Fish Hopper.