Ho'okele Staff | May 26, 2012
Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii
HONOLULU – The Honolulu Zoo hosted a military appreciation day for military service members and their families May 19.
The event featured free admission to the zoo for all military card ID holders, including retirees and National Guard.
Entertainment included live performances by area local rock band Chaotic Five, Hula Halau and Island Storm as well as traditional favorites, the Royal Hawaiian Band and the Marine Corps Band.
“We had more than 6,000 people come to the zoo for the Military Appreciation Day,” said Elaine Ota, one of the organizers for the event.
“I was really happy with the attendance. With so many preparations, including thousands of free pizza slices, ice cream and watermelon, I was worried up until the very end, but it worked out very, very well. The one thing everyone seemed to go crazy for, other than the animals of course, was the watermelon,” Ota said.
The Honolulu Zoo is the largest zoo within a radius of 2,300 miles and unique in that it is the only zoo in the United States originating from a king’s grant of royal lands to the people.
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii started the Military Appreciation Day tradition in 1985, with its Military Affairs Council and the Armed Services Committee, as a one-day event on Armed Forces Day.
The event at the zoo also included appearances by Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii and Outrigger Enterprises. One of the more unique exhibits was a display of robots by local high schools.
Shuttle buses assisted military service members to reach the event from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay (MCBH) and Schofield Barracks.
Category: Life & Leisure