For more than 65 years, Kailua Beach has been the center of a spectacular fireworks display each 4th of July evening. For most of its history, the show was launched from Flat Island across from Kailua Beach Park. In 2000, a “twilight air show” was added, featuring aerobatic performances by two local pilots. In 2002, in consideration for environmental concerns, the platform for the fireworks launch was moved from Flat Island to a mobile barge, adding significantly to event expense.
The foundation for the continuation of both the fireworks exhibition and air show is now in place. The next step is sustainability and gradual build-up of a reserve to ensure that the fireworks and our other beach-front Independence Day events will continue.
Kailua’s Fourth of July fireworks show has depended upon donations from businesses and individuals within our community and upon volunteer efforts. This year, Kailua Fireworks lost one of its dearest supporters. We wish to share our sympathies with the family of Bonnie Bond Nam, better known to the community as “Cricket,” of our loved Kailua restaurant Cinnamon’s which she was so proud of. Cricket was a staunch supporter of the Fourth of July fireworks show; not only sharing financial support, but providing her talents in baking, designing, creating and in helping organize many of our events. She brought laughter to many of our meetings, while always saying, “Let me know how to help.” She was always gracious, encouraging us to make sure that we expressed our appreciation to the many who helped make each year’s show a reality. She was always there when work needed to be done!
We will miss Cricket. As her husband, Puna commented, “She was a very special lady. She was as spectacular as the fireworks she loved so dearly.” We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Nam family. She touched many of our lives and we will not forget her. With each glittering display, we will say,
“We love you Cricket!”
aka Don Holden
Did you know…..Uncle Sam is a nickname adopted by the US on September 7, 1813, during the war of 1812 fought between the US and UK from June 1812 until February 1815. The name was linked to Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, NY who supplied barrels of beef to the solders in the US Army. In character at all Kailua Fireworks events by a Kailua resident of 53 years, Don Holden, president of Holden Hospital Supply. Uncle Sam wants YOU to donate to Kailua Fireworks to keep our tradition going.
Originally from Croatia, I moved to Hawaii in 1969 and lived in Kailua since 1976. I’m currently employed at Holden Hospital Supply, a Board Member of Kailua Chamber of Commerce and an original committee organizer of Kailua Fireworks beginning 2013. My personal interests include community service projects, cooking, reading, photography, health and fitness, and inspiring youth to live up to their dreams. Highlights of my experiences include traveling to many countries and meeting people all over the world. My personal desire is to make 4th of July Fireworks a self-sustainable event so it can celebrate its “100 years” centennial anniversary in 2047.
Kailua is an amazing place to live. Growing up in Kailua, I've been blessed to experience the Fourth of July celebration for many years. It's the one time in the year that the community comes together with family and friends to share in celebration of our Independence. As one of the founding members of Kailua Fireworks, I want to continue to foster this tradition for the generations to come as it brings unity and pride to my community that I love.
I moved to Kailua in May 2016 and started working with the wonderful and dedicated people of Kailua Fireworks in May 2018. With my experience in accounting/finance/auditing, and the fact that I love math, I am helping Kailua Fireworks with tracking, recording and management of their financial matters. For my day job, I am a consultant and have been providing my service to a major confectionery company in Honolulu for over three years. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, watching movies and traveling.
Joan Sakaba is a retired social worker and a busy grandma. Working with Kailua Fireworks has been a big job that lasts all year long...hoping some younger community members will step up and bring some different energy and ideas to the fundraising efforts! One big benefit -- meeting super committed people in this community whom I would have never met had it not been for KF!
I have been a resident of Kailua for over 30 years and have enjoyed the fireworks with my family for all of those years when given the opportunity to help and participate in the event, I jumped at the chance to be a part of this wonderful presentation and help continue this great Kailua tradition.
A volunteer since 2013! Hollis wanted to re-engage with the Kailua community after returning from the mainland and Japan.
Kate Wadsworth was raised in beautiful Kailua, where she currently lives as an illustrator, graphic designer and muralist. As part of the Kailua Fireworks committee, she's helped create the official logo, apparel designs, and 4th of July parade float.