From Our Files
In 1888, King Kalakaua issued a royal charter, commissioning a magazine. Then titled Paradise of the Pacific, this publication became HONOLULU Magazine, making it the oldest magazine west of the Mississippi.
“The Paradise of the Pacific magazine has at last achieved one of its principal aims,” notes Paradise, the predecessor to HONOLULU Magazine. “It is housed snugly within its own light gray walls.” The magazine celebrated its new digs in a brick building on South Beretania Street (near where the state Capitol stands today). The Paradise Paper Box Manufacturing Co. building housed Paradise’s editorial and advertising staffs, printing, binding, engraving and press departments. Paradise of the Pacific was “sent all over the Earth to emperors, kings, presidents, governors, painters, authors, sculptors, bank and railroad presidents, heads of industrials, social institutions and the Pope.”
They’re off! Horseracing reappears on Oahu in 1939, when the Oahu Jockey Club built the Kailua Race Track, nicknamed the Pineapple Derby. It was an entertainment mainstay on the island, interrupted only by World War II. “Parker Ranch, on the [Big Island] began importing horses from the finest Mainland and English racing lines to develop the thoroughbred breed in Hawaii,” remarks Paradise. “As a result, the thoroughbreds racing today in Hawaii are of the same top blood lines as the prize horses in the United States and England.” Thousands of spectators paid the $1 admission to watch the races. The track closed in 1952.
“Aloha Week, Hawaii’s prime fall attraction, cuts a wide swath through the Islands of the Aloha State,” remarks Paradise. On Oahu, “the hub of visitor activity,” the festivities kicked off with the presentation of the royal court on the steps of Iolani Palace. Another highlight of the weeklong festival was the early morning Molokai-Oahu outrigger canoe race (which still takes place today). “Evening activities center around the Waikiki Shell, where the Makahiki pageant of old Hawaii will be presented and a water carnival, also in Waikiki.” Aloha Week started in 1949, and in 1991 transformed to the current, statewide Aloha Festivals.