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Fireworks show will light up Hilo Bay

Begin the new year with a bang.

The Grand Naniloa Resort will host a New Year’s Eve extravaganza, which culminates with a midnight fireworks show over Hilo Bay.

The county spearheads an Independence Day fireworks show, which the Grand Naniloa contributes toward, but “we decided to take this one into our own hands,” said Shannon Seider, director of sales and marketing for the resort.

“We know how much the community and our guests enjoy (fireworks) on Fourth of July every year, and nothing celebrates an occasion more than fireworks,” she said. “We knew that we wanted to make this happen, not only as a way to thank our guests for staying with us, but also as a way to get the community together so that we can all ring in 2019 as one big ohana.”

It’s the first year the resort has hosted the fireworks, but Seider said it’s not something it could have done on its own, instead seeking sponsorships from other businesses in the community.

Sponsors include Hirayama Bros. Electric, HomeStreet Bank, Chapter 27, KWXX, KapohoKine Adventures and Hula Hulas, as well as Big Island Candies, KTA Super Stores, Nani Mau Gardens and Restaurants, attorney Peter Kubota and Orchid Isle Auto Center.

“We were determined to make this happen, but because of these additional businesses within the community being willing to come in and sponsor alongside with us, that’s how ultimately this has come to fruition,” she said.

Seider said to her knowledge, there’s never been anything like this on the east side of the island.

Donald Pascual, pyrotechnical operator with Hawaii Explosives &Pyrotechnics, the company doing the program, said viewers can expect a “spectacular” seven-minute show.

According to Pascual, the safest and best place to view the fireworks will be from the Grand Naniloa property.

“We discourage any boaters going out there from watching the show,” he said.

“If they’re in the fall-out zone, then the show gets stopped, and all fingers get pointed to them for stopping (the display).”

New Year’s Eve festivities begin at the Grand Naniloa much earlier in the evening, with a double feature on the lawn.

The live-action version of “101 Dalmatians” will screen at 8 p.m., and Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary also is set to attend with a few furry friends. “Hook” follows at 10 p.m.

Seider said there also will be a “huge coconut, completely lit up” that drops at midnight.

The fireworks start at midnight from a barge on the bay.

“All of that is free for our guests and free for the community,” Seider said.

Outside food and beverages will not be allowed at the hotel, but Seider said there will be a variety of options available for purchase.

There will be no tents set up, so visitors should bring what they need to be comfortable.

Additionally, Hula Hulas, a restaurant located within the Grand Naniloa, will have late hours and specials, as well as a DJ. Seider recommended reservations.

“Then we’re doing a dance party in the Crown Room,” she said.

Doors for that 21-and-up event open at 8:30 p.m., and the DJ begins at 9 p.m. At midnight, there will be a countdown and balloon drop.

General admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door, and 21 booths, which include general admission for four and a bottle of champagne or a bucket of four beers, also will be available for $100 in advance and $125 at the door.

The Wainaku Executive Center also get in on the action with a New Year’s Eve celebration that also promotes the midnight fireworks show.

The event, which features live entertainment and an extended pupus menu, runs from 9 p.m-1 a.m. Admission is $25 and parking is $10.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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