America’s 50th state has no shortage of unique and exciting ways to celebrate July Fourth with aloha. One could run a 5K that benefits veterans on the Big Island or check out a family-friendly festival on Kauai. Of course, there’s always the traditional Independence Day pursuit of viewing fireworks, available almost anywhere you go. You can see them while on a cocktail or dinner cruise off the shore of Maui or hit up the biggest light show in the state at Ala Moana Beach on Oahu. Some events have been altered or canceled in 2020. Check details below and websites of the organizers for more information.
This event has been canceled in 2020. The east side of Oahu has been celebrating Fourth of July with a fireworks show in Kailua for more than 65 years, all thanks to sponsorship from the town’s businesses and residents. There's usually a parade with hundreds of marchers, cars and floats, and an airborne performance by local skydivers before the pyrotechnics begin. The Kainalu Drive procession starts at 11:30 a.m., the twilight show starts around 5:45 p.m., and the fireworks at 8 p.m. The event provides free shuttles from different spots throughout Kailua to help revelers get to Kailua Beach. There's also free public parking at Kailua Intermediate School, Kailua Town Center, and Lanikai Elementary.
This event has been canceled in 2020. When it comes to Fourth of July fireworks displays, Oahu has the widest variety. The show at Ala Moana Beach is the largest in the entire state (and one of the largest annual outdoor events in Hawaii); therefore, it's the most popular on the island, typically drawing thousands to the sandy shore. Throughout the holiday weekend, Ala Moana Center provides live entertainment inside the mall from local musicians and performers. Honolulu radio station KSSK-FM broadcasts a synchronized soundtrack to accompany the 8:30 p.m. fireworks show as well.
Starting on the morning of the Fourth, downtown Lahaina is transformed into one big block party complete with performers, vendors, family-friendly activities, and live music. Head to Front Street to take advantage of restaurants like Kimo’s and Lahaina Fish Co. for front-row seats to the 8 p.m. fireworks show (the only one on Maui) set off from an offshore barge. For a special experience, book a spot on one of the cruises setting sail from the harbor to view the fireworks from the sea.
Kekaha Fireworks (Kauai)
Independence Day in Kauai is typically a multi-day affair. West side festivities, taking place in Kekaha, start on July 3 with the America's Most West Freedom Fest, a free festival at Barking Sands that includes food, live music, and fireworks. The fun starts again the following day around 10 a.m. at Kekaha Faye Park, where activities, crafts, games, cultural demonstrations, and exhibits lead up to a grand finale fireworks show synced with live music honoring Hawaii’s military members.
Lihue Fireworks (Kauai)
Put on as a fundraiser by Kauai Hospice, Lihue's annual Concert in the Sky is the largest fireworks show on the island. The party begins in the afternoon, around 4 p.m., with games, music, and food at Vidinha Stadium, and ends with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. 2020's featured concert will be by Kapena. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 per child if you buy them in advance or $15 for adults and $7 per child if purchased at the gate. All proceeds go toward Kauai Hospice.
Independence Day Parade & Fireworks Extravaganza (Big Island)
The annual Kailua-Kona Fourth of July Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Kuakini Highway and proceeds down Ali’i Drive to Walua Road. Organized by the Rotary Club of Kona and run entirely by volunteers, the parade features music, colorful floats, and members of the armed services every year. It's followed by an 8 p.m. fireworks display over beautiful Kailua Bay.
On the Hilo side of Hawaii’s Big Island, Fourth of July presents an opportunity to get your morning workout in while also contributing to a good cause. Proceeds from the Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5k goes towards helping military veterans on the Big Island. The race typically starts at 7 a.m. at the Liliuokalani Gardens in Hilo, but in 2020, it will take place virtually to adhere to social distancing regulations. Participants will run on their own this year, but will be able to post their times online. The $25 registration fee includes a commemorative shirt.
This event has been put on hold in 2020. Festivities in Waikoloa Village usually begin at 10:30 a.m. with an opening chant and hula kahiko at Kings’ Shops. Throughout the day, there's face painting, balloon sculpting, games, live entertainment, and a rubber duck race. The 8 p.m. fireworks show—held at the neighboring sports complex, Waikoloa Bowl—is the icing on the cake.