Listed below are Fourth of July fireworks shows celebrated throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Our list includes the large annual public fireworks displays on Hawai’i Island, Kaua’i, Maui, and O’ahu.
If you plan to purchase and set off fireworks, we provide links to the state laws restricting fireworks.
We also provide tips for photographing fireworks, which tend to fill the Hawaiian skyline for Independence Day, as well as for New Year’s celebrations.
State of Hawaii fireworks laws
Hawai’i state laws restrict the purchase and use of fireworks to specific days and times during the year, including New Yearʻs Day, Chinese (Lunar) New Yearʻs Day, and Fourth of July. If you want to set off fireworks outside of these times, you must get the proper license and/or permit.
In addition, there are restrictions on where you can light off fireworks. Listed below are links to some of the laws important to most people who want to set off fireworks, for example at a home party:
- For basic laws restricting purchase and use, see: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol03_Ch0121-0200D/HRS0132D/HRS_0132D-0003.htm and https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol03_Ch0121-0200D/HRS0132D/HRS_0132D-0005.htm
- For liability issues (especially if you are a homeowner, renter, parent or guardian), see: https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol03_Ch0121-0200D/HRS0132D/HRS_0132D-0013.htm and https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent/Vol03_Ch0121-0200D/HRS0132D/HRS_0132D-0014_0005.htm
For more details and the complete list of laws governing fireworks, visit Hawaii HRS 132D.
For information from Honolulu Fire Department: Firecrackers | Honolulu Fire Department
How to take (great) photos of fireworks
First of all, turn off your flash, and set your camera to manual mode. With your camera in manual mode, set the ISO (“film speed” or light sensitivity), F-stop (aperture), and shutter speed to the following settings:
- ISO 100
- F-stop f/11
- Shutter speed 1/2 second
If the photos are too dark at these settings, try gradually increasing the shutter speed (from 2 to 10 seconds) while keeping the ISO and F-stop the same. A camera tripod and remote shutter release are recommended, especially if you want to try long shutter speeds.
Other camera settings to try:
- Most professional photographers recommend sticking with ISO 100. However, the F-stop can range from f/5.6 to f/16, with more than one photographer stating f/8 is their favorite.
- Also, shutter speed can be up to 30 seconds, or longer, especially if you want to capture the entire “trail” of a fireworks display
However, rather than fiddling with shutter speed, another option is to use B mode or Bulb mode, which allows you to press and hold the shutter button when the firework launches and keep the shutter open until the display eclipses, and then release the button. In other words, rather than setting a particular shutter speed such as 2 or 10 or 30 seconds, you manually work the shutter for each shot, and keep it open as long as needed. Of course, you must use both a tripod and remote shutter release for this operation.
Plan to arrive at your planned photography site well before sunset to check your camera settings and take a few photos. Find a level spot and review the framing of your images–your line of site to where the fireworks will be. When you look through the viewfinder, pay attention to what’s in the background. Decide whether horizontal or vertical photos produce the best composition based on your vantage point. If you are far away or have a high vantage point, a horizontal image that takes in the surrounding landscape is usually the better shot. If you are close to the action, then vertical shots of the fireworks from launch to high point in the sky is typically a better shot.
For more fireworks photography tips, review this National Geographic photo gallery for photographing fireworks.
Note: due to statewide restrictions limiting crowd size, many public fireworks shows and daytime festivals are cancelled for 2021. However, some communities will be hosting fireworks shows or modified events, as detailed below.
Big Island fireworks 2021
Waikoloa fireworks 2021
Waikoloa Beach Resort. The Resort cannot host the usual Fourth of July Family Extravaganza and fireworks show but is celebrating this Independence Day with a collection of fun decorations, family photo opportunities, lawn games, keiki activities, and free giveaways around Queens’ MarketPlace. Plus, enjoy an endless array of shopping and dining options over the long weekend. Don’t miss out on special offers at restaurants and retailers. Queens’ MarketPlace has ample free parking. Last time we checked (June 24), activities at the Kingʻs Shops and are suspended.
Kailua-Kona fireworks 2021
Kailua-Kona Independence Day Parade & Fireworks Extravaganza is the biggest 4th of July celebration on Hawaiʻi island. The parade begins at 6 pm with vibrant floats, musical acts, and color guards marching along Aliʻi Drive. It is followed by dazzling fireworks over Kailua Bay at 8 pm. More info: https://paradesinkona.com/
Kona fireworks show. Kailua-Kona will have fireworks without the parade down Ali’i drive during the day. There won’t be a barge to stage fireworks in Kailua Bay, so the county plans to use the landing strip at Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area as was done in prior years. Note: this means the Old Kona Airport beach park will be closed for the entire day. Please consider making a donation to help make the fireworks happen. Find a donation link at Parades in Kona.
Hilo fireworks 2021
Hilo Bay Blast on the east coast of Hawai’i usually includes a barbecue cook-off, family activities, and car show before the grand finale fireworks display at 8PM. Tune to radio KWXX to listen to music, synchronized to the show. More info: Fireworks shows returning: Displays in Hilo and Kona will celebrate the 4th | Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Hilo fireworks show. This year’s event WON’T include the classic car show, keiki activities, or extended road closures. However, people can join families and friends in county parks, but are reminded to social distance and wear a mask if they feel it necessary to do so. Lawn chairs are allowed, but tents and canopies won’t be allowed. The only event other than the fireworks will be a dress rehearsal of the county band at Mo’oheau Bandstand prior to the fireworks.
Parker Ranch fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Annual Fourth of July Rodeo and Horse Races at Parker Ranch in Waimea has been cancelled. The annual rodeo and horse races celebrate the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) and their skills. Kids activities include a petting zoo and pony rides. Doors open at 7am with the rodeo action starting at 9am. Discount on advance purchase tickets. More info: Parker Ranch website and Parker Ranch Inc. | Facebook
Kaua’i fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Kekaha Fireworks is is held on the west side of the island. The day-long festival runs from 10 am to 10 pm with the island’s biggest fireworks show starting at 9 pm.
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Lihue is the site for Kauai Hospice Annual at Vidinha Stadium. Prior to fireworks, the family-friendly event features live music, games, activities for kids, and shopping. More info: kauaihospice.org/kauai-events
Maui fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Maui’s largest public celebration takes place in Lahaina and includes a festival on Front Street with vendors, food, keiki activities, live music, and the fireworks show at 8 pm. More info: Lahaina Town Guide | Maui, Hawaii
O’ahu fireworks 2021
Listed below, we’ve suggested vantage points for the public to see fireworks displays on Oʻahu military bases–but it’s just a guess (let us know if you go). We included public parks that are listed as open until 10PM, as well as shopping centers if there are stores (usually eateries and grocers) open until fireworks start–you can certainly try to hang out in the parking lot but purchasing SOMETHING from a merchant would be the mālama ‘ohana (care for others) thing to do.
Pearl Harbor Fireworks 2021
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) in Honolulu hosts a 15-minute pyrotechnic display illuminating the harbor beginning at 8:30 p.m. There is no public access to the base. More info: https://jbphh.greatlifehawaii.com/activity/4e3539e6-2e38-4994-b3bc-6d63cbdeb95e and Great Life Hawaii 2.0. However, the fireworks over Pearl Harbor might be enjoyed from other vantage points in the Honolulu area (just a guess):
- Patsy Mink Regional Park (closes at 10PM)
- Oneʻula Beach Park aka Hau Bush (closes at 10PM)
- Pearl City Shops (some eateries open until 10PM)
- Waimalu Plaza Shopping Center (eateries open 8-10PM, Safeway 24 hours)
MCBH fireworks 2021
Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) in Kanehoe hosts a 20-minute fireworks extravaganza beginning at 8:30PM. This is an MCBH Community Event designed to be visible across the base for its personnel assigned there. There is no public access to the base. More info: July 4th – Marine Corps Community Services Hawaii (mccshawaii.com). However, the fireworks might be enjoyed from the following vantage points on Windward O’ahu (just a guess):
Schofield fireworks 2021
Schofield Barracks in central O’ahu will light up the sky with a fireworks display from 8:40 – 9:00 p.m. There is no public access to the base. More info: USAG Hawaii MWR 2021 Community Fireworks Display : Hawaii US Army MWR. However, the fireworks might be enjoyed from other vantage points in central O’ahu (just a guess):
- Mililani Shopping Center (some eateries open until 7-8PM, Foodland open until 9PM)
- Town Center of Mililani (closes at 8PM, but Longs, Times, and Walmart open until later)
- Mililani Marketplace (a couple of eateries open until 8-9PM, Safeway open until late)
- Patsy Mink Regional Park (closes at 10PM)
Turtle Bay fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Turtle Bay Resort on the O’ahu north shore hosts a July 4th fireworks show that begins with Hawaiian music, followed by the 9PM fireworks show. More info: https://www.turtlebayresort.com/things-to-do/events
Polynesian Cultural Center fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Polynesian Cultural Center hosts a concert and fireworks show at Hukilau Marketplace, featuring live local music, games, and other entertainment with a fireworks finale at 9 pm. More info: Events – Hukilau Marketplace
Kailua fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Kailua on the Windward (eastern) coast of O’ahu celebrates Independence Day with an air show featuring aerial acrobatics and skydiving. The fireworks show is set off from a barge in Kailua Bay beginning at 8 pm and can be best seen at Kailua Beach Park, where there are vendors and entertainment during the day. More info: Kailua Fireworks
Ala Moana fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu is Hawaii’s largest fireworks show. One of the largest firework shows in the country, this pyrotechnic show is accompanied by a synchronized soundtrack. The multi-day event features a Savings Pass that can be used at participating Ala Moana Center merchants. There is a full schedule of live entertainment on the shopping mall’s Centerstage and Ewa Wing Stage. The July 4th extravaganza in Ala Moana Park begins at NOON and features live entertainment. The Fireworks Spectacular starts at 8:30pm. More info: Events | Ala Moana Center
USS Missouri “Picnic on the Pier” 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): USS Missouri “Picnic on the Pier” is a summertime event. Bring your own picnic-style dinners or purchase food and drinks on-site (cash only). On July 4th, the event includes live performances and raffles, culminating at 9 p.m. as aerials light up the night sky. Presale tickets $10 adults, $15 at the door (if available). More info: Picnic on the Pier – USS Missouri
Ko Olina fireworks 2021
Cancelled (last checked June 24, 2021): Ko Olina hosts an annual fireworks show. More info: Events – Ko Olina