It’s almost time to bid aloha to 2011. In Hawaii, 2012 will get under way with fireworks blasting over our mid-Pacific waters and bursting in the midnight sky. Toes-in-the-sand spectators will greet the new year on Saturday night and very early on Sunday morning, gazing skyward while stretched out on mats and in beach chairs along a bustling stretch of Waikiki and on various other shorelines and parks in the Islands.
The pyrotechnic shows in the Islands may not be of the same magnitude as those in New York City or in Washington D.C. But, hey, the President of the United States and his family are spending the holiday in Hawaii — again — and maybe they’ll be catching one of these beachside shows. You just never know. Here’s our list of Hawaii New Year’s Eve 2010 fireworks displays. Hauoli Makahiki Hou! — Happy New Year!—and all the best for 2012 from the HAWAII Magazine ohana!
• Aloha Tower Marketplace fireworks — midnight, with free public viewing areas around the marketplace shopping area (pictured, above) near downtown Honolulu.
Fireworks are shot from platforms docked in Honolulu Harbor so the best spots to watch are along the marketplace's long pier. From 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., the marketplace will host a soiree dubbed “Party of the Year,” featuring more than 20 DJs and bands performing on six stages, fire dancers, mechanical bull rides, and various dining specials. For more event details and ticket information, click here.
• Ko Olina Resort fireworks — midnight, with free public viewing areas along each of West Oahu resort’s four lagoons. Starting at 7 p.m., parking will be available in designated lots at a rate of $20 per car. Alcoholic beverages, coolers, backpacks, personal fireworks and open fires are strictly prohibited. For more information, click here or call 808-679-1090.
Billed as “Hawaii’s largest New Year’s fireworks display,” spectators are invited to view the show (firing from four lagoons) from land or sea. It will be synchronized to soundtrack featuring popular music artists ranging from Bruddah Iz to Katy Perry.
For spectators looking for more luxury, the JW Marriott Ihilani is offering “Room with a View,” an overnight stay and exclusive Presidential Suite viewing party ($1,000/couple). Cabana and poolside dinner views are also available. For reservations, call 808-679-0079.
Want to watch the show from the water? The New Year’s Ocean Joy Cruise — aboard the 60-foot Kai Oli Oli catamaran — departs Ko Olina Marina at 10:30 p.m. (Cost $65/person, parking additional cost).
• Waikiki Beach fireworks — midnight, with free public viewing areas along the Waikiki beachfront.
This annual fireworks show — sponsored by Waikiki hotels and businesses and the Waikiki Improvement Association — is visible from the entire Waikiki beachfront — and beyond. The popular event even has a fireworks countdown before the show.
• Four Seasons Resort Hualalai fireworks — midnight, with fireworks launched from the Four Seasons beachfront. Festivities will get under way at 10 p.m. at the hotel. The party and the fireworks are open only to guests at the Hualalai resort, 72-100 Kaupulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona (off Queen Kaahumanu Highway). But the show may also be visible from Queen Kaahumanu Highway. For more information, click here or call (808) 325-8000.
• Grand Wailea Resort fireworks — midnight, with fireworks launched from resort beachfront. The show is a hotel event that’s open to guests only. However, the show will likely be visible from nearby Wailea Beach Park. If you're staying in area, just take the Wailea Coastal Walk to Wailea Beach. For more information, click here or call the resort, 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, (808) 875-1234.
• Poipu Beach fireworks — 9:30 p.m., with a free public viewing of the show based at Poipu Beach Park on Kauai's south shore. The best views are at the Sheraton Kauai Resort and Poipu Beach Park, but you can catch the aerial display from several Poipu area resorts, condos and beaches. The celebration will begin at 5 p.m. with live local music and food booths at the park. For additional information about the event, hosted by Kalapaki Joe’s restaurant and the Poipu Beach Resort Association, click here or call (808) 742-7444.
• Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay — midnight, with free public viewing from Hulopoe Beach. Fireworks will be launched from the Four Seasons Manele Bay. For more information, click here or call (808) 565-2000.
If we’ve missed any Hawaii New Year’s Eve 2011 fireworks displays on our list, let us know with a comment here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Mahalo!
Photos: Page 1 — (top) Aloha Tower Marketplace New Year's Eve fireworks/ Takuma Tanizaki, (bottom) Waikiki New Year's Eve fireworks, Jon Okuma; Page 2 — (top) Aloha Tower Marketplace New Year's Eve fireworks/ Takuma Tanizaki, Photography, (bottom) Aloha Tower fireworks