Who’s Invited or by Invitation Only
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the attacks on pearl harbor. There are many activities to attend and they’re all sure to create memories you’ll remember forever. Some are free to attend, with others requiring a paid ticket, and a select few which are by invitation only. It’s a good idea to make sure you book your days’ activities in advance, so you won’t leave tours disappointed if they sell out. With more than one million visitors to Pearl Harbor every year, these museums and exhibits are sure to sell out across the board this year due to anniversary commemorations.
There are a great variety of events that are free to attend for the general public. On the mornings of December 1st-6th, there will be military band performances at 8:45 to 10:00 a.m. at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center on the island of Lanai. Later in the week, at 12:00 p.m. on the 7th, you can check out the mass military band performance aboard the Battleship Missouri memorial.
On the 2nd, there will be a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Arizona beginning at 1:30 p.m. Scheduled for later that night is an Army-themed movie screening on Waikiki Beach at 7:30 p.m. There will also be screenings themed for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast guard on the dates of the 4th, 5th, 8th, and 9th, respectively.
The dedication for the newly constructed Aerological Tower at the Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor (12:00 p.m. Dec. 4th) will also be free to attend, lasting two hours. On the following day there is a presentation by a keynote speaker, with opportunities to participate by asking questions and getting signed autographs. Last year, at the 74th anniversary, David Kennedy was the keynote speaker. Although this year’s speaker has yet to be announced, this is one event you will be sure to want to attend.
Other free events slated for the 6th of December are the Ewa Field Battlefield Commemoration at Ewa Plain Battlefield (9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) and the ringing of the Freedom Bell opening ceremony at the USS Bowfin Submarine and Park (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Freedom Bell ringings will occur on the days of the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th as well.
The agenda for December 7th features a ceremony in remembrance for the USS Oklahoma at Ford Island (1:30 p.m.- 2:00 p.m.) and a parade on Kalakaua Avenue in the city of Waikiki, starting at 4:30 p.m and going for three hours.
So far, that’s all that has been scheduled as far as the free events are concerned. If you’re interested in some activities that may be a little less crowded, there are a few ticketed events to attend as well. Kicking off at 6:00 p.m. and lasting until 10:00 p.m. on December 3rd is a cocktail and dinner party at the Pacific Aviation Museum. Featuring an auction and live entertainment, the proceeds from the party will go to the museum so it can continue its aircraft restoration projects and educational programs.
On the 5th at 11:00 a.m. in Hilton Hawaiian Village is a tribute to Japanese-American veterans who fought Axis powers during World War II. The following night of December 6th at Hilton Hawaiian Village in the Coral Ballroom will be a party with special entertainment in tribute to the brave survivors of “the day that lives in infamy”.
The next ticketed event requiring no invitation is a performance of “Righteous Revenge”, a play depicting the events of the Doolittle Raid, a major turning point in the war in favor of American forces. Joining the performance is the popular Pat Sajak, famous for hosting “Wheel of Fortune. The play will begin at 6:00 p.m. December 9th, and will last until 9:00 p.m.
The last ticketed events during the anniversary are a World Class Concert with performers still to be announced at Aloha Stadium and the Honolulu Marathon for those into fitness. They are scheduled for December 10th and 11th, respectively.
It’s important to note these dates and times are still subject to change. Be sure to stay updated to make certain you will be prepared. Hundreds of thousands of folks visit Pearl Harbor every year, and sometimes by the end of the day exhibits have already sold out. Nobody wants to be hung out to dry, so make sure you reserve tickets and tours in advance. By reserving yourself a spot before the day of your so you can enjoy all there is to offer stress-free.
Popular destinations are almost guaranteed to sell out of tickets this year, as the 75th anniversary is an important date few will want to miss. With special performances by military bands, cocktail parties, various commemoration ceremonies, and a World Class Concert, this December will be the most exciting opportunity to visit Honolulu for years to come.