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Friday night fireworks return to Waikīkī after 2-year hiatus

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Friday night fireworks have returned to Waikīkī after a two-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions.

The Hilton Hawaiian Village has held its weekly show for more than 30 years. The hotel started the show in 1988 to celebrate the completion of its $100 million "Return to Paradise" master plan. During that time, the hotel has used the same vendor — Hawaiʻi Explosives and Pyrotechnics.

Over the years, the show has become a weekly tradition for visitors and locals alike.

General manager Jeffrey Yedlin told HPR the hotel kept the show not just from a business standpoint, but because it had a broad reach in the community.

"This is just another amenity for (guests). We don't gain from this, we don't change price from it," he said.

"Pre-COVID, you look out on that beach, and there's hundreds of people that want to see the fireworks. And if you drive over to Ala Moana Beach Park, hundreds of people seeing fireworks... And you've got numerous restaurants that, I couldn't even count, (promote) the fireworks viewing and pre-firework shows," Yedlin said. "So certainly (it) has a wide reaching impact. Some of it's commercial, some of it's just relaxation — geared to kamaʻāina, geared to our traveling visitors."

Yedlin says during the show's hiatus, hotel staff have been asked numerous times when the fireworks will return.

"This is one of the last remaining things that we brought back," he told HPR. "It's a good feeling to be able to look your team in the eyes and say, 'Hey, the Hilton Hawaiian Village that you remembered, it's the Hilton Hawaiian Village of today and what we're doing.'"

The Hilton Hawaiian Village fireworks show starts at 8 p.m. every Friday during the summer. Yedlin told HPR that beginning in October, the show will start at 7:45 p.m.

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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