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Oahu blasts into 2013
BY STEVEN MARK / firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re reading this, that means we’ve all gotten past last week’s doom-and-gloom, Mayan end-of-days scenario. And if that’s not reason enough to party, it is New Year’s Eve on Monday, and there will be plenty of places around the island to bash in the New Year, with parties at Aloha Tower, Kakaako Waterfront Park and Waikiki leading the way.
Last year’s promoter of the annual fireworks party at Aloha Tower is throwing a bash at a new location this year: Kakaako Waterfront Park. A party planner who’s created other “Mayjah Rayjah” events at Aloha Tower is stepping in. And among many parties in Waikiki, two hotels are ramping up the glitz.
There will be plenty of celebrations elsewhere on the island, from a fireworks display over all four lagoons at Ko Olina Resort; a party featuring ParadiseXs at Turtle Bay Resort’s Surfer, The Bar; and a ceremonial Pineapple Drop at Mililani Town Center. That event, the first ever, is at 7 p.m. to coincide with the drop of the Big Apple in New York and to give young children a chance to experience the excitement of the New Year’s countdown.
NEW YEAR’S EVE HIGHLIGHTS
New Year’s Eve Aloha Tower Block Party: Aloha Tower, 7 p.m., $25-$100, 21+; alohatowernye.com, 566-2337; ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000
The New Year’s Eve Party of the Year: Kakaako Waterfront Park; 6 p.m. $25 – $75, free for kids 10 and younger; nyehawaii.com, 729-0418; ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000
Lux Masquerade Casino Royale: Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk; 8:30 p.m.; $100; VIP group packages $200-$1,200. luxvipevents.com, 721-7777
The Modern Experience: “A Touch of Red”: The Modern Honolulu, Waikiki;
6 p.m.; $75-$150, group packages from $800. Ages 21+. flavorus.com, 855-2-FLAVOR (235-2867)
RAYMOND HO, who is working with several entertainment promoters to put on the Aloha Tower Block Party, promised “a little bit of something for everybody” for the 21-plus set. He’s expecting 13,000 people to attend the celebration, which begins at 7 p.m.
“We added a little bit more entertainment, a little more attractions,” he said. “It’s a property-wide event. There’s 10 acres of space that we have to fill with entertainment.”
Aloha Tower will have eight performance areas, with a main music stage featuring acts including Summer Eguchi, the Hawaii-born singer who has been a recording star since age 13; cover dance band Funkshun; the reggae band So Roots; and others.
Aerial performers will do circuslike routines in the atrium between acts; indeed, the scene may very well resemble a night at the carnival.
Street performers — “kind of what you see on the Waikiki strip, the gold guy, the silver guy,” Ho says — will be on hand, along with balancing acts, magicians and fireknife dancers, Ho said. “We got a fireball girl dancer. They do a poi ball fire dance.”
There will also be participatory activities, like a foam pit where people can jump in for a dip without getting wet, and a salsa competition, with live music provided by Son Caribe. “That alone brings 1,000 people every year, but they chose to do it at our event this year,” Ho said.
The Aloha Tower celebration will feature a midnight “Sky of Lighters” show by Grucci, an award-winning company that has staged fireworks displays at the Olympics, presidential inaugurations and World Fairs.
FIREWORKS are an essential part of New Year’s Eve in Honolulu, with annual displays visible to many residents.
If you want fireworks early and often this year, there’s a new option: Kakaako Waterfront Park’s “Party of the Year,” where fireworks will go off every hour starting at 9 p.m., said Mike Galmiche, organizer of Kakaako’s celebration.
“The fireworks are going to be deployed from the park, on land,” he said, allowing them to be aimed directly overhead rather than out above the water. “You’ll get an amazing view.”
Fireworks won’t be the only thing lighting up the Kakaako sky. Galmiche is having two sky divers from the Red Bull Skydive Team drop in on the fun.
“They’re sky-diving and landing right in the middle of the party,” he said. “They also have pyrotechnics on their suits, so flames will be shooting out as they sky-dive over the party. Their suits will be lit up, too, with LED lighting.”
Food will also be a main attraction of the Kakaako celebration. Look for a New Year’s edition of Eat the Street, with 30 food trucks on hand, Galmiche said.
The party also offers rides on a newly refurbished Ferris wheel, courtesy of island carnival-ride promoter E.K. Fernandez. Modern LED lights have replaced the old bulbs, allowing for brighter, more spectacular patterns, said Galmiche.
Organizers expect about 8,000 people to come out to the party, which starts at 6 p.m. The park will have separate areas for different age groups.
Musical acts coming to Kakaako include musician and producer Fiji, a seminal figure in island contemporary music.
“He helped out tons of artists here in Hawaii, so they’re all going to come out and support him,” said Galmiche. Rebel Souljahz, Manao Company, Irie Love and Kaipo Kapua will join Fiji on the bill. Others will be “a surprise.”
WAIKIKI will have no dearth of celebration, with a superhero-themed party at Sheraton Waikiki’s Rumfire and elegant events at Hilton Hawaiian Village and Moana Surfrider, among others.
The Modern Honolulu is making the most of the event, with a party from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m. for folks 21 and over.
“They call it the Modern Experience because it’s an all-encompassing hotel party,” said Kendall Trainer, a spokeswoman for the Modern. “They’re utilizing the ballroom, the lobby lounge, the lobby bar, the nightclub, pool decks, all these different places.”
The Modern is bringing in two top mainland DJs, DJ Jessica Who from Miami and DJ Bee Fowl from Los Angeles, who will spin platters along with local DJs Anit, Compose, Delve & XL. About 1,000 guests can be accommodated.
The Modern also offers VIP guests entry to a New Year’s Day party at Addiction Beach Club, the club at the Modern. “It’s a really big party!” Trainer said.
Over at the Trump Hotel, a bash will take over the sixth floor, site of its pool and lobby bar.
“Lux Masquerade Casino Royale” festivities begin at 8:30 p.m., with DJ Scott Skiles kicking things off on the Infinity Deck. Tahiti Rey and Jason Alan will provide live music.
The Inyo Terrace will be the site of the Casino Club, which will also be hosted by a guest DJ.
The Trump’s new video system will show time-shifted streamed video from Times Square for the ball drop in Hawaiian time, and flutes of champagne will be served after 11:30 p.m.
Click here to see a complete list of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day events.