From duck races to fireworks and rodeo, options abound for July 4

  • Fireworks light up the sky above Kailua-Kona for the 2018 4th of July display. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Ducks float towards the finish line at the 2018 Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race, a fundraiser for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii at the King's Shops. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • The Drug Court float rides down Kuakini Highway for the 2018 Kailua-Kona Fourth of July Parade. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Disabled American Veterans ride in the 2018 Kailua-Kona 4th of July Parade. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Veterans ride in the 2018 Kailua-Kona 4th of July Parade. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Soldiers from Pohakuloa Training Area march in the 2018 Kailua-Kona 4th of July Parade. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Fireworks light up the sky above Kailua-Kona for the 2018 Fourth of July display. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • PTA Commander LTC Loreto V. Borce Jr. is serving as Grand Marshal of the Kailua-Kona 4th of July Parade. (Nancy Cook Lauer/West Hawaii Today, file)

KAILUA-KONA — Get ready to celebrate the most American of holidays Thursday with fun-filled family activities — a parade, rodeo and fireworks — honoring our nation’s independence.

First, the procession.


The Kailua-Kona Fourth of July Parade starts at 6 p.m. at Kekuaokalani Gym, heading south on Kuakini Highway to Palani Road where it will continue down Alii Drive, before it ends at Walua Road.

This year’s theme is “The Pride of Hawaii with Liberty and Aloha for All.” PTA Commander LTC Loreto V. Borce Jr. will serve as grand marshal.

Next, the fireworks.

At 8 p.m. the skies over Kailua Bay will ignite in a 10-minute “Fireworks Extravaganza” put on by Hawaii Explosives and Pyrotechnics Inc.

Barbara Kossow, Hawaii County Deputy Managing Director and parade co-chairwoman, said the fireworks show will go on despite the organizers suffering a shortfall thus far covering the $37,000 cost.

The county is contributing $10,000 toward the show while the rest comes from private and business donations.

As of Wednesday, $9,680 was still needed to cover the show’s expense. Kossow encouraged business owners and individuals to make a donation by visiting Parade entrants can also register online.

For those wanting to burst their own bombs in air, Phantom Fireworks will be selling permits and an assortment of fountains, cracklers, sparklers and firecrackers at their tent in the Kona Commons parking lot.

Sales started Saturday at noon and continue through 10 p.m. on the 4th.

Each permit costs $25 and allows the purchase of a max of 5,000 firecrackers. Permits are only necessary to procure paper firecrackers and aren’t needed to obtain sparklers, fountains or the like.

But even before those events there are options.

Waikoloa Beach Resort offers a full day of fun stuff geared for the family.

The Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace offer activities starting 10 a.m. featuring watermelon and shave ice eating contests, a full schedule of live entertainment, keiki giveaways, face painting and the ever popular Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii.

Adoption certificates for the Rubber Duckie race are on sale until 3 p.m. on race day, July 4, and offer a chance to win over $30,000 in prizes. Individual duckie adoptions are $5 each and Quack Packs are $25 each and include five adoption certificates and one event T-shirt (while supplies last).

Fireworks will explode at the Waikoloa Bowl at 8 p.m. followed by the band Lucky Tongue performing at the Queens’ MarketPlace Coronation Pavilion.

Need more sport for your holiday?

Big Island paniolo will participate in the Parker Ranch Annual July 4 Horseraces and Rodeo at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena in Waimea from 9 a.m. to noon. Events include ribbon mugging, ranch mugging, dally team roping, Po’o Wai U and more.

Keiki activities including roping practice and pony rides will be available. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Parker Ranch Store in Waimea (at Parker Ranch Square). For more information, call 885-2323, email or visit

If you are heading to the east side of the island for the holiday, the Hilo Bay Blast 2019 offers something for everyone. Beginning at 7 a.m. on July 4, the Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K Run/Walk at Liliuokalani Gardens kicks off the festivities.

The Hot Rides Expo will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the mauka Hilo soccer field, featuring local vintage, classic and futuristic vehicles. All show vehicles are welcome to participate at no charge.


Live music, food vendors and children’s activities will be available including water slides and bouncers.

The Hawaii County Band will perform its annual Fourth of July concert in the Mooheau Bandstand at 7 p.m. followed by the fireworks show at 8 p.m. The show will be synchronized to patriotic music aired on KWXX FM.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email