For the past four years, the annual New Year’s Eve celebration at Poipu Beach Park has been a large draw for hundreds of island residents and visitors who welcome in the new year with live music and an elaborate fireworks displays.
This year promises much of the same with a slight change in plans, said Jody Kjeldsen, executive director of the Poipu Beach Resort Association, which has hosted the free, South Shore event for the last few years.
“Normally we have a big concert in the park followed by fireworks, but we lost our music sponsor at the last minute this year and we weren’t able to raise the funds, so we’re supplementing that with a movie,” Kjeldsen said. “But next year, we’re still planning on having the music festival and the fireworks.”
The free, $35,000 event will go on as planned, beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Poipu Beach Park, and feature several food truck vendors, a movie and a fireworks show that kicks off at 8:45 p.m.
“I think we’re just trying to give back to the community and create a venue where it’s free and open to the public, and visitors and residents alike can enjoy the beauty of Poipu Beach plus the celebration of a successful year and prosperity in the new year,” Kjeldsen said.
Food booths will be set up around the main county pavilion at Poipu Beach Park and showcase plate lunch selections from Koloa Elementary School, Chef George of the Jungle and Porky’s Cart, just to name a few.
The featured movie, which will be shown at 6:45 p.m., is “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” a DreamWorks Animation science fiction film.
In all, Kjeldsen said about 5,000 people attended the New Year’s Eve event several years ago when it featured Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artist Anuhea. Local bands, meanwhile, brought in about 4,000 people last year.
Kjeldsen said she is expecting a slight dip in attendance with just the movie in the park and traditional fireworks display.
“I think the fireworks is still a draw, but I think the combination of the music and the fireworks was perhaps a bigger draw for people,” Kjeldsen said.
Parking in the Poipu area is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. Additional parking will be available on the grassy area off of Hoowili Road next to Poipu Beach Park.
“We’re also encouraging all people who are staying in the area to walk or bike to the park,” Kjeldsen said.
The fireworks show itself dates back till at least 2000, when the Sheraton Kauai Resort and the Poipu Beach Resort Association started the tradition. For the last four years, the annual fireworks display and music festival has been organized by the Poipu Beach Resort Association, and sponsored by South Shore community members and more than two dozen area businesses and organizations.
For more information or event assistance, call the Poipu Beach Resort Association at 742-7444.