If you’re going to Oahu to celebrate July 4th, you’ll certainly find excellent fireworks, parades, food and entertainment all over the island! We’ve created this comprehensive list of all the major fireworks events along with insider tips on how to get to them.
This list will focus on the major July 4th events throughout Oahu. Then, I’ll list additional weekend events along with the neighborhood and specialized military focused events. So, here’s what’s planned for July 4, 2012:
Tuesday, July 3rd – Entertainment & Fireworks at Aloha Tower Marketplace – Honolulu
Oahu kicks off the Independence Day celebrations a day early on July 3rd at the Aloha Tower Marketplace. This fireworks display has traditionally been one of the largest on Oahu.
This family-friendly celebration will include entertainment, games and festive food from booths and the onsite restaurants. Entertainment begins at 5pm with the big fireworks finale planned for 8:45pm.
Parking is limited at Aloha Tower Marketplace. If you’ll be coming to Aloha Tower Marketplace from Waikiki, it’s easy to get there by bus and trolley. See those transportation details here. For this event, you may want to try to get there a bit early to avoid the rush.
If you will be driving to Aloha Tower Marketplace, use these two links for finding parking information and driving directions. Again, I recommend arriving sooner rather than later as parking in the immediate area is limited.
For more information about the Aloha Tower Marketplace entertainment and fireworks plans, see this link or contact Aloha Tower Marketplace 808-528-5700.
For a view of the Aloha Tower Marketplace fireworks from the water, you might opt for one of the Star of Honolulu fireworks cruises. If you’re staying in Waikiki, for $11 more per person, you can get air-conditioned bus transportation to the cruise harbor, which solves a potential parking headache.
Another cool vantage point to watch the Aloha Tower Marketplace fireworks is from Sand Island. My Oahu friend Dave tells me that the you can escape the crowds a bit and get the best vantage point from Sand Island. Dave also suggests making a nice evening by bringing a picnic. If you want to watch the fireworks from Sand Island, then it’s best to drive there otherwise, you’ll have a long walk from TheBus stop. To find directions to Sand Island, see this link.
Wednesday, July 4th – Ala Moana Center Fireworks and Entertainment – Honolulu
For 21 years, Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center has hosted one of the biggest July 4th fireworks in the state of Hawaii and the country. This event is so big that officials estimate there will be approximately 30,000 people watching.
Before the big evening fireworks event, you can find free entertainment at Centertainment. The fireworks show will begin around 8:30.
You can watch the fireworks from around the shopping center, at Magic Island (Aina Moana Beach Park), and at Ala Moana Beach Park. See this Google Map to visualize the area and get directions.
To get there from Waikiki, you can drive, take a bus, trolley or walk. See this link for more information on public transportation options. If you’re up for a good walk and have comfortable walking shoes, then consider walking from Waikiki to Ala Moana Beach Park. You won’t have to worry about traffic and finding a parking space. The closer you’re staying to the western end of Waikiki, for example at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, the shorter the walk.
Ala Moana Center is located at 1450 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu. Their phone number is 808.955.9517.
For a view of these July 4th fireworks from the ocean, check out the Star of Honolulu fireworks cruises.
Wednesday, July 4th – Turtle Bay Resort July 4th Fireworks & Celebration – North Shore
If you’re staying at or near Oahu’s North Shore, check out Turtle Bay Resort’s celebration that begins at 4pm. They’ll have games, music, food and fireworks. This event is free and open to the public.
Turtle Bay Resort is located on Oahu’s North Shore at 57-091 Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku, HI. For more information see this link or call Turtle Bay Resort toll free at 866.827.5327.
That covers the major July 4th fireworks celebrations that are aimed for both visitors and local residents. There are other neighborhood and extra celebrations around Oahu that I’ll summarize as follows.
Independence Week/Weekend Fireworks & Celebrations
- Sunday, July 1st – Honolulu Independence Weekend Parade — Waikiki
This parade celebrates the anniversary of the Royal Hawaiian Band and the US armed services with 500 marchers, 30 vehicles and 5 bands. The parade will run through Waikiki beginning at the intersection of Saratoga Road and Kalakaua Avenue, continue down Kalakaua Avenue to finish at Queen Kapiolani Park. The Honolulu Independence Weekend Parade begins at 6pm and ends at roughly 7:30pm.
- Fridays June 29th & July 6th Hilton Hawaiian Village Fireworks — Waikiki
It’s always fun to catch the long-standing Friday night fireworks tradition from the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The fireworks display typically begins at 7:45pm.
July 4th Neighborhood Celebrations around Oahu
- The beach town of Kailua will host a July 4th parade sponsored by the Kailua Chamber of Commerce. The event will have 200 marchers, 40 vehicles, 40 floats and 4 bands. The parade route will start at Kainalu Drive at Omao Street and continue on Kainalu Drive ending at Kailua Intermediate School. The parade is scheduled to begin at approximately 10am.
- Ewa July 4th Train is a special event with morning and afternoon rides. Tickets are required and do sell out. (Added 6/9/12)
- Maunalua Bay Festival Independence Day Celebration – Plans are in place for another fun day of food, games and 8pm fireworks show centered from Maunalua Bay Beach Park. See this link for more details. (Updated 6/9/12)
July 4th Fireworks & Celebrations at Schofield Barracks (open to public) & Hickam Harbor (open to those with access to base)
- 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks — from 9am to 9pm, you’ll find Independence Day fun at Weyand Field. The day starts with a fun run. Then there will be games, rides and live entertainment capped off with a fireworks show at 8:30pm. For more information, see this link. This event is free and open to the public. If you are staying in the Ko Olina area, this 4th of July Spectacular at Schofield Barracks is probably the most convenient to access from that resort area.
- Fourth of July Celebration at Hickam Harbor has events for both July 3rd and 4th. Check out all the details here. Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will put on a Fourth of July Celebration including a concert and fireworks at 8:30. For more information about the fireworks see this link. These events are open to those with access to the base. (Updated 6/29/12)
- Mahalo to all these sponsors and event organizers!
- All these Oahu events for July 4, 2012 were accurately reported at the time of publishing.
- Updates and details will be provided as and when they are determined. You may want to bookmark this page to check back for additions and changes.
- Events are subject to change without notice.
- Have a safe and happy July 4th whether you on Oahu or beyond!
If you are a journalist or blogger using this post for researching an article you are writing, kindly do what’s pono and provide a link back to Go Visit Hawaii. This work is a result of many hours of my very own research, long distance phone calls, emails, contacts, etc.