Hilo Readies for Annual Fourth of July Celebration

The 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks in Hilo, entitled the “Hilo Bay Blast,” is just around the corner.

The County of Hawai`i in partnership with Destination Hilo, Hawai`i Explosives, the Hilo Jaycees, Downtown Improvement Association, and the State of Hawai`i are presenting the 2017 celebration.

County officials say this year’s Fourth of July celebration will feature various activities throughout the day, culminating with the traditional fireworks exhibition at 8 p.m. in Hilo Bay.

Beginning at 7 a.m., the “Salute to Our Veterans” Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk will take place at Lili’uokalani Gardens. In recognition of all those in uniform, past, present and future, the walk is sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 3830 and will award prizes for various categories.  A $25.00 registration fee is required. Space is still available.  For additional information or to register, click here.

Children’s activities will be available at the Mo’oheau Ball Field and will feature water slides, bouncers, and the “Wicked Bowls” wagon.

In addition, the cultural “BBQ Burger Cook-off”, coordinated by the All-Hawai`i Veteran’s Group, will once again be located at the commuter parking lot on the makai side of Kamehameha Avenue.  Barbeque hamburgers, along with other food items, will be offered for sale.

The commuter parking lot will be home to other food vendors offering a variety of food options.

Across the street at the mauka soccer field, the “Hot Rides Expo” will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature a display of hundreds of vintage, classic, and futuristic cars.  Car enthusiasts from all parts of the Island are shining up their “prides of joy” to participate in this year’s event, which is free of charge and open to the public.

On stage at the expo will be Backyard Boys, Times Five, Average Joe, Bobby Reno Band, and the Ol’ School Band. The show starts promptly at 10 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.  Sound and technical assistance will be provided by Pepe Romero of CJ Promotions.

The Isles, located across from the Lili’uokalani Gardens, has been designated as the Kupuna viewing station.  The Elderly Activities Division will provide shuttle service from the Kamana Center beginning at 3 p.m. until 7: 30 p.m., and the return shuttle will run from 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. for the return trip to Kamana Center.

In order to give the public additional viewing areas for the fireworks, Lihiwai Street, which runs through Lili’uokalani Gardens, will be closed and blocked for the entire day on the Fourth of July. The road will re-open on July 5th.

Additional parking will be available at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium grounds on the paved, Pi’ilani Street side.  Mass Transit will provide free shuttle service to and from the Bayfront area beginning at 9 a.m. and will run continuously to 9 p.m.  Pick-up and drop-off will be at the covered front entrance to the Civic.

In an effort to make the Bayfront Shoreline accessible for prime fireworks viewing, 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 access to this area during the fireworks exhibition.

The Hawai`i County Band is scheduled to perform their Fourth of July Concert in the Bandstand beginning at 7 p.m.  According to Band Director Paul Arceo, the concert will feature patriotic selections in celebration of Independence Day.

Don Pascual of Hawai`i Explosives has promised a dynamic display for this year’s celebration.  The show is set to begin at 8 p.m. and will be synchronized to patriotic music aired on KWXX.

Road closures will be in effect in certain areas of Hilo, according to the Hawai`i Police Department.  Bayfront Highway, Route 19, from Waiānuenue Avenue to Pauahi Street will be closed from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Motorists may use Kamehameha Avenue as an alternate route. In addition, Lihiwai Street will be closed from 2 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The County wishes to remind the public of the following:

  • Personal fireworks and smoking are prohibited at all beach parks.
  • The Wailoa Small Boat Harbor Basin, Vehicle parking area (the parking area at the mouth of Wailoa River) will be locked off to unauthorized vehicles. Only owners of the vessels currently moored in the location will be allowed to park their vehicles in the closed area.
  • The restroom in that closed area will be open for public use.
  • Access under the Wailoa Bridge via the catwalk will be closed.
  • No open fires are allowed in the small boat harbor and mooring areas.
  • No fireworks or alcohol are allowed in the small boat harbor and Wailoa State Park.
  • Operation of drones within 5 miles of the Hilo Airport is prohibited.
  • All marine vessels, including kayaks, all types of canoes, and stand-up paddling boards operating at night are required to have navigation lights and personal floatation devices.
  • A 100-yard safety zone will be set around the fireworks barge; unauthorized vessels are not allowed to moor, drift, traverse, or enter this area. DOCARE officers will be assisting this event on sea and land.

The event is an alcohol, drug, and litter free event coordinated in collaboration with private enterprise, community organizations, and the government.

For more information on the “BBQ Burger Cook-off,” contact Jeno Enocencio of the American Legion, Post 3, (Lone Soldier Honor Guard) at (808) 542-8666.

Individuals interested in participating in the Car Show can call Francis Rodillas at (808) 896-3467 or at francisrodillas@gmail.com.

Individuals 55 years and older should contact Elderly Recreation Services at 961- 8710 for more information about the Kupuna Viewing Station.

Click here for information on firework permits.