Five Last-Minute Travel Tips for Hawaii This Memorial Day Weekend

Hawaii Lantern Festival // Photo by Kyle Nishioka via flickr
Hawaii Lantern Festival // Photo by Kyle Nishioka via flickr

Are your clients looking to book a last-minute getaway to Hawaii for Memorial Day? We've rounded up five events they should keep in mind. 

Lantern Floating Hawaii

Every year on Memorial Day, more than 40,000 residents of Hawaii and visitors gather at Ala Moana Beach Park to honor loved ones and generate hope toward the future. This year’s ceremony will commence at 6 p.m. and will be officiated by Head of the Shinnyo-en Buddhist Order, Her Holiness Shinso Ito. The event will include music and a ceremonial lighting of the Light of Harmony, leading up to the floating of lanterns onto the Pacific Ocean. Those wanting to personally float a lantern may receive one at the Lantern Request Tent on the event day on a first-come, first-served basis. The public is also invited to write remembrances ahead of time at the Shinnyo-en Hawaii temple through May 19. These messages will be affixed to Collective Remembrance Lanterns and floated by volunteers. Remembrances may also be submitted online at For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call (808) 942-1848.

Blossoms for the Brave 2015

Kaunoa, the Department of Housing & Human Concerns and Mayor Alan Arakawa will honor veterans at this Memorial Day event. To recognize each hero, a total of 2,700 lei are needed for placement at Maui Veteran Cemetery in Makawao for Memorial Day ceremonies. Loose flowers are also needed for the aerial flower drop. Finished size is 16” for pre-sewn lei. Travelers can help by stopping by between 9:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to make a lei and / or by bringing flowers between 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to the South High Street parking lot in front of the County Building. 

Examples of materials needed: 

- Green ti leaves (cut & frozen) 
- Crown flowers
- Orchids
- Bozu flowers 
- Plumeria (buds & partially open)
- Bougainvillea flowers & leaves 
- Other flowers & greenery

There is a shuttle available from Ichiro “Iron” Maehara Baseball Stadium parking lot every half an hour from 8:30 a.m, with the last return at 1:30 p.m. For inquiries, call Kaunoa Senior Center at 270-7308.

Ukulele Ohana Molokai

Guests can spend five days on the Spirit Isle experiencing the roots that have inspired generations of Hawaiian music with Hawaiian folk musician Lono and Mele Nei. Guests will learn about Old Style Hawaiian music and lifestyle eat delicious gourmet food harvested from Puu O Hoku Ranch, as well as play lots of happy Ukulele music.

The Uke Ohana event will be hosted at Puu O Hoku Ranch ("Hill Of Stars"), a historical and organic working ranch on the east end of Molokai. 

Visit the website and contact [email protected] with any questions.

Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

The Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, is a five-day event to celebrate the history of storytelling through movies. Filmmakers and film lovers come together each year to experience new films from Hawaii and around the world. Films are shown day and night, and there are also social events honoring industry professionals, food events, hula halau, Hawaiian musicians, and an ongong series of filmmaker/screenwriter workshops by top mainland writers. There will also be Q&A sessions following each film set. 

A new element this year will be a script contest and is open to anyone with a script ready to submit. An Awards Brunch and Best of the Fest Concert & Audience Choice best feature & short films close the festival each year. 


Hibiscus Half Marathon, 15K and 5 Mile

For fitness buffs, the 9th annual Hibiscus Half Marathon is a fun, family-friendly way to spend Memorial Day weekend. The event is the 2015 RRCA Hawaii State Half Marathon Championship race. The course starts and ends at Kapiolani Park at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. There are half marathon, 15K or 5 miler options - if guests walk a 17 minute mile or slower, organizers recommend they do the 15K course to ensure their safety and an official time. The finish line closes promptly at 9:30am.

There will be awards for the top three males and females in 16 divisions for the half marathon, and the top three males and females for the 15K. Chip timing by Pacific Sport Events. T-shirts are guaranteed to those who register by May 1, but not after.

For more information contact Tropical Triple Crown at 808-348-0634.