Live music, dancing, a classic car show, cooking contest, band concert, and fireworks display will be among the free events at this year’s July Fourth celebration in Hilo.
Sponsored by the Hawai’i County Department of Parks and Recreation in partnership with the State of Hawai‘i and community organizations, the biggest-ever 2012 Hilo Bay Blast will be an alcohol- and drug-free event that promises to appeal to everyone from keiki to kupuna.
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 the Kamehameha Avenue mauka soccer field. Vehicles from as far away as Texas and Florida will be driven 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 mauka Kamehameha Avenue soccer field. 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 section of Bayfront Highway fronting the canoe halau.
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.
Personal fireworks are prohibited at all beaches, parks, harbors and on roadways.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reminds all vessel operators to observe safety regulations. The vessel-viewing area is located north of the green ship channel markers and west of a line of sight connecting the end of the break wall and buoy No. 3 to Pauahi Street traffic lights.
For more information, please contact the Culture and Education Division at 961-8706 or Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2012 Hilo Bay Blast Event Schedule: July 4, 2012
- 7 a.m. – VFW Post 3830’s “A Salute to Our Veterans” 2nd Annual Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk at Lili‘uokalani Gardens
- 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Kupuna & Ohana Comfort Station operates at the makai soccer field along Kamehameha Avenue
- 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Free Hele-On shuttle service from Mo‘oheau Bus Terminal, Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and at the Hawai‘i County Aupuni Center to downtown events
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Hawaii Classic Cruisers’ Cruise Paradise 2012 Car Show & Shine at the Kamehameha Avenue mauka soccer field. Dennis Gage, host of the “My Classic Car” cable TV show, will be on hand to sign autographs and greet fans.
- 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Hula halau Hula Halau O Na Pua Uluhaimalama and the Tapiti Tahitian Group will perform at the Kamehameha Avenue mauka soccer field, along with musicians Esther Zamora, Bonnie and Doug, Randy Lorenzo and Friends, Ol’ School Band, and the Tomi Isobe Blues Band.
- All Day – Various children’s games and contests, a waterslide, and a jumping castle will be offered 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 groups.
- 11 a.m. – Judging starts for the Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off categories at Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field
- Noon-5 p.m. – “Street Seen” team skateboarding competition at the portion of Bayfront Highway fronting the canoe halau
- 5 p.m. –Hilo Bay BBQ Cook-Off winners announced at Hilo Bayfront commuter parking lot located next to the Mo‘oheau Park ball field
- 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. – Bayfront Highway will be closed. Gates at the Mo’oheau Bus Terminal, Mo’oheau Park ball field and adjacent soccer field will be opened to allow access to this area during the fireworks exhibition.
- 7 p.m. – The Hawai‘i County Band will perform patriotic music in the Mo’oheau Bandstand
- 8 p.m. – Lehua Jaycees’ fireworks display from Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island
- 10 p.m. – Bayfront Highway reopens