Every act of aloha counts. Click here to DONATE to the MAUI RELIEF Fund.            

Family Fireworks Fun On The 4th


Hawaii Kai 2013 Fireworks

This time last year, we were bundled up doing the Disney Cruise around Alaska with Mickey Mouse and company.

It was an unforgettable family trip, and I don’t want to take anything away from that, but I’m always torn about being away from home during a holiday.

In this case, it was Fourth of July. The previous five holidays, we stayed very close to home. We were fortunate to enjoy fireworks in Hawaii Kai for the Independence Day at Maunalua Bay celebration.

Over the years, we’ve watched the show from many vantage points. Seated close to shore, from a perch over Spitting Caves and from the water on our boat. There were no bad views. Only good memories.

Last year, I was sad to hear the show was going to be canceled. After that announcement was made, an anonymous donor stepped up, plunked down $22,500, and fast and furious community fundraising came up with the rest.

Unfortunately, there will be no last-minute heroics this year. Organizers pulled the plug early, citing the high cost of putting on a show. According to Dianne Glei, Independence Day at Maunalua Bay Festival event chairwoman, the fireworks alone cost $45,000.

Glei says her mantra has been, “If everyone just donated a dollar, the show could go on.” Sadly, that’s not the case this year.

I, for one, really will miss the fireworks at Maunalua Bay, and I’ve seen some amazing fireworks over the years.

I was in New York City in 1986 for the centennial celebration at the Statue of Liberty. It was part of the opening ceremony honoring the gift from France to the United States. To this day, I’ve never seen a more patriotic or spectacular fireworks show.

I also have fond memories watching fireworks from my childhood growing up in Georgia. Yes, I’m a Georgia girl, and a Braves fan by birth.

Postgame fireworks are a summertime tradition. After every Friday night home game, win or lose, the Braves put on a dazzling display for fans.

I still don’t know where I will watch fireworks with my family this Independence Day, but I will catch a show somewhere.

Perhaps we’ll head to Kailua? After a lack of financial support scrapped the popular Windward Oahu celebration in 2012, organizers have rallied to raise money.

We’ll have to drive to another ZIP code this Fourth of July, but it’s worth it to see the looks on my kids’ faces.

Hawaii Kai will shoot for next year, and this time I hope the community comes through.