Hilo Jaycees Putting On July 4th Fireworks Display
Hilo’s annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Hilo will be held this year with a different sponsor.
The Lehua Jaycees, which had been providing the display for years, could not take it on this year so the Hilo Jaycees stepped up to take its place, said the group’s treasurer, Kelton Chang.
Chang, who also coordinates the county fair for the Hilo Jaycees, acknowledged that the project is being done on short notice.
He said there hasn’t been much time to raise funds for the display because the county approached the group about taking on the display just 42 days ago.
“It’s a pretty big challenge for us, but we didn’t want to not have the celebration of our country’s birthday,” Chang said.
So far, he said, the group has raised $24,000 of the display’s $33,000 cost.
Chang said the Hilo Jaycees will be using several methods on the Fourth to help pay for the display.
That will include booths selling water at the Bayfront, in Liliuokalani Gardens and on Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island.
Also, the group will have several inflatable rides set up on the island and will charge $5 for admission.
He said for safety reasons, those under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. The island will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In another change, this year the fireworks will be launched from a barge stationed in the middle of Hilo Bay.
In previous years, the fireworks were set off from Coconut Island.
The county Department of Parks and Recreation said today that the Isles peninsula, a popular fishing spot located behind the Nihon restaurant, will be off limits to the public from 2 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the Thursday, July 4, to allow for the loading of the fireworks onto the barge.
The switch to a barge is designed to maximize public safety and to allow more people to witness the festivity.
“We wanted to step it up a little bit this year,” Chang said.
He said the Coast Guard will be out in the bay to ensure that boaters maintain an appropriate distance from the fireworks.
The display is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.