Things to do in Hawaii on Memorial Day Weekend

American flag sandals on a beach
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Got clients who are going to be in the Aloha State for Memorial Day weekend and need some hot plans to spice up their itinerary?

Tell them about these three events in Hawaii that are good for everyone, from those looking to pay their respects to fallen military members to families looking to simply learn more about nature.

Lantern Floating Hawaii

Widely considered Hawaii’s most popular Memorial Day event, Lantern Floating Hawaii is a great opportunity for that perfect Instagram photo as more than 6,000 lanterns will be floated. 

Taking place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ala Moana Beach Park on Oahu on Memorial Day, Lantern Floating Hawaii usually attracts tens of thousands of people.

The ceremony is meant to honor the fallen, feel a connection with loved ones who have passed, and to remember all beings that have existed over time. Prayers include those who died in all conflicts and wars, in natural or man-made disasters, and accidents, famine or disease. 

The lanterns are meant to symbolize hope, courage and determination in participants and viewers from around the world. Lantern Floating Hawaii will air live on Hawaii News Now KGMB on Memorial Day at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed live online at and

Ceremony to Honor 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, a special collaborative Memorial Day ceremony will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Honolulu

The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29. It is free and open to the public, however there will be no public parking in Punchbowl as free shuttles will be provided.

The ceremony will include speeches, a wreath presentation, a cannon salute, a planned U.S. Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard flyover, the playing of taps, and performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band. 

This year’s joint ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary will be larger than Memorial Day events in previous years and is expected to attract roughly 3,000 attendees. 

As a result, parking and driving in Punchbowl will be restricted until noon. Free shuttles will be available for the public from the Alapai Transit Center from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. the morning of the ceremony. Eighteen city buses will continuously shuttle attendees during this time. The last shuttle departs at 7:30 a.m. 

Attendees are required to be within Punchbowl by 8 a.m, after which access into Punchbowl will be restricted until the ceremony is finished. Shuttle service back to the Alapai Transit Center will commence following the conclusion of the ceremony and the last shuttle back will depart at noon. 


The 28th Annual Banana Poka Round Up

Got clients looking to cool off in Hawaii during Memorial Day weekend and learn a little about nature while they’re at it?

Taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 28 at Kokee State Park on Kauaithis forest environmental fair is good family fun. 

Guests of the Banana Poka Round Up can take part in making baskets from the vines of the banana poka.

Banana poka is a harmful, invasive plant species present in the forests. There will be exhibits from many of the State Parks agencies and organizations that take care of Kokee State Park, games for the children, a crowing contest, flower arranging, lei making, snacks and a silent auction. 

Live Hawaiian music starts at 10 a.m. The event moves from the Stone Pavilion at Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow to the historic Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camp operated by Hui o Laka. 

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.