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Fourth of July in Hawaii—A Tropical Twist on an American Tradition

Fourth of Juloy

Independence Day means many different things to Hawaii’s residents. Although Independence Day is controversial for some, the explosive, exciting celebration holds strong. Of course, as with any celebration, Hawaii lends its island flavor to this special all-American tradition.

How does Hawaii celebrate Fourth of July? With a tropical twist!

The National Anthem. At major events, the National Anthem is immediately followed by Hawaii Pono‘i, the state song and former national anthem of Hawaii.

FourthofJulyinHawaii_KalbiRibsHot dogs and hamburgers. More like kalbi and katsu! Hawaii loves a good potluck-style luau, where you’ll find tastes of nearly every Pacific culture. Kalbi (Korean shortribs) and katsu (breaded, deep-fried cutlets) are just a few, plus poi (the purple paste made from taro root), poke (cubed sashimi) and laulau (pork wrapped in taro leaves).

Beer. Well, you got that one right. It’s still America, after all!

Music. A walk down the beach is a delight to the senses. While you might be used to hearing country music at your hometown tailgates, on the beaches of Hawaii, you’ll mostly hear the local sounds of island favorites like Kealii Reichel, Brudda Iz and Anuhea. Or, just as likely, a few guys and gals strumming and singing their favorite tunes on the ukulele.

FourthofJulyinHawaii_FireworksFireworks. Oh yeah, we got ’em. Public use of fireworks (and sale of fireworks) is strictly prohibited in Hawaii, but the firework shows across the islands are massive and often follow an entire day of food, music and games.

FourthofJulyinHawaii_PauRiderParades. Have you ever seen King Kamehameha and his royal procession in traditional garments on a ti-leaf-adorned parade float? It is a sight to behold! Followed by pa‘u riders (women on horseback in long riding skirts) representing each island, Hawaiian cowboys, marching bands, hula dancers, taiko drummers and more—a parade in Hawaii, especially for the Fourth of July, will leave a lasting impression.

If you want to party like the locals for Independence Day in Hawaii, grab a straw mat, beach chairs, sunblock and your grill and head to the beach (or a nearby park if you’re landlocked). Put on some upbeat tunes, grab a brew, rally your friends and you’ve got yourself a Hawaiian-style Fourth of July.

 

We hope you get a chance to watch the brilliant fireworks this year—but in case you don’t, here’s our favorite video of a spectacular fireworks show! Happy Independence Day!

If you’re lucky enough to be in Hawaii for Independence Day this year, check this complete list of all-island Independence Day events.

See our related articles at the bottom for the perfect Oahu itinerary for your weekend.

 

Photos by Stillfx/ Shutterstock.com; Smileus / Shutterstock.com; Darrell Ishii; Fireworks video courtesy of YouTube/Gabriel Miyashiro.

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9 Responses to “Fourth of July in Hawaii—A Tropical Twist on an American Tradition”

  1. Jimmy Jackson

    Definitely my favorite travel destination! I hope to be able to get back to the Big Island for a vacation within the next two years.
    Jimmy Jackson

    Reply
    • Laurabeth

      Jimmy, have you seen both Hilo and Kona? I can’t decide which is my favorite. Big Island has everything!

      Reply
  2. john coiley

    ask me how I dream of a trek to Hawaii…daydream, that is…

    Reply
    • Laurabeth

      That dream could be a reality! We have a Win a Trip to Hawaii contest—you could be here in no time!

      Reply
      • john coiley

        it was one of our dreams, to wade in Hawaii
        s waters; now it is mine…

        Reply
  3. Barry

    Hawaii is my dream destination,anyone want to bring me along .I can be your butler.

    Reply
    • Laurabeth

      Perfect! I’ve been searching for a Butler! Could you get here and work for free? 😀

      Reply
    • Winona

      Aloha Charlleen. Glad you enjoyed our blog and firework video. Mahalo, Winona

      Reply

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