Your Guide to the Perfect July Fourth Weekend: June 29–July 4, 2017
A lineup of Independence Day weekend’s best events.
While America may not have invented fireworks (China did, according to historians), we can all agree that Fourth of July wouldn’t be quite as festive without them. Along with entertainment and store discounts, Ala Moana Center’s Fourth of July celebration also includes its annual fireworks display, an epic pyrotechnic affair that has consistently ranked among the top 25 best in the country. Start your celebrations early with a special Suntory Japanese whisky tasting on Thursday. On Saturday, head to one of Hawai‘i’s biggest sports festivals at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall for some exercise, celeb sightings and sweet pro wrestling action. You’ve heard of “meet cute,” but what about “meet geek”? The Hawai‘i Geek Meet on Sunday is your opportunity to go full nerd over your passion—or discover a new one.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF Ala Moana Center
Fourth of July Celebration at Ala Moana Center
Saturday, July 1 through Tuesday, July 4
As expected, Ala Moana Center celebrates Independence Day in style. Starting on Saturday, the center will offer a special savings pass, valid through Tuesday, July 4, that nabs you 20 percent off one regular-priced item each day at more than 60 participating stores. While you shop, enjoy live performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band, Raiatea Helm, Hōkū Zuttermeister and more at Ala Moana’s Centerstage and ‘Ewa Wing stage. Wherever your Fourth of July plans take you, make sure to stick around Tuesday evening for Ala Moana Center’s Fireworks Spectacular, an epic pyrotechnics display that has consistently ranked as one of the top 25 fireworks shows in the nation. Fireworks begin at 8:30 p.m. and will launch from three platforms at Ala Moana Beach Park; tune in to FM 92.3 KSSK for a live soundtrack to accompany the show. For maximum enjoyment, we suggest heading over to the beach park early, parking your lawn chair in a good spot and enjoying the view with snacks.
P.S. Did we mention that you could win roundtrip tickets to anywhere in the country? To enter, just head over to the Ala Moana Center Facebook page and comment on its post for the Freedom to Fly Sweepstakes. That’s it!
Free, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd. For more information and a full schedule of events, go here.
Seventh Annual ESPN 1420 Sports Festival
Saturday, July 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When a sports festival has the letters E, S, P and N in it, you know it’s going to be legit. Honolulu radio station ESPN 1420 (HONOLULU’s sister company) teams up with UnitedHealthcare Community Plan to bring you the seventh annual ESPN 1420 Sports Festival, this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your family, your friends or just yourself to this free event at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, where sports fans of all ages are welcome. Test your speed and agility, get pointers on your baseball swing, learn to spike a volleyball—plus, stick around for contests, free giveaways, celeb autographs (did someone say Yancy Medeiros?) and a huge expo offering all the best products and services for sports, health and fitness. The guys of Action Zone Wrestling, Hawai‘i’s only pro wrestling company, will also be there to thrill and awe fans with some sweet moves.
Free, The Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall, 777 Ward Ave. For more information on this event, go here.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Hawai‘i Geek Meet
Hawai‘i Geek Meet
Sunday, July 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Is there a hobby or interest that turns you from seminormal member of society to raving, zealous nerd-head? Hey, no shame—everyone geeks out over something. The 10th annual Hawai‘i Geek Meet, taking place Sunday morning at Magic Island, is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to celebrate creativity, nurture curiosity and share their passions with others. This family-friendly event will feature clubs, community groups, companies and organizations that span a wide range of interests, from coding to fencing to science to steampunk to art. Hardcore cosplayers, improv fanatics or just families looking to pick up a new hobby together—Hawai‘i Geek Meet welcomes all!
Free, Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park, 1201 Ala Moana Blvd. For more information on this event, go here.
Suntory Whisky Tasting at 12th Ave Grill
Thursday, June 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Whether you’re a whisky connoisseur with dreams of one day sampling 21-year Hibiki at the Yamazaki Distillery tasting room or just a lush with a taste for epicurean delights, 12th Ave Grill’s whisky tasting this Thursday evening will have you buzzing in all the best ways. Guided by whisky ambassador Johnnie Mundell, this event features some of Suntory’s rarest—and most enjoyable—whiskies, including 12- and 18-year Yamazaki and Hakushu and 17- and 21-year Hibiki. And, since all things are better with food involved, 12th Ave Grill will offer bites with your tastings, ranging from the rustic house-made Ni‘ihau antelope jerky to the refined Kona cold lobster tartare, all of which perfectly complement the stars of the evening. While the event comes with a hefty price tag, lovers of Suntory will know the $295 ticket price is a steal (and still cheaper than a trip to Japan). Seating is extremely limited, so make your reservations ASAP.