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Almost a miss, but fireworks still filled the sky in Kailua

By Nana Ohkawa
Published On: Jul 04 2013 08:44:00 PM HST

Fireworks filled the sky in Kailua Thursday night. It was a light show that almost didn't happen.

KAILUA, Hawaii -

The fireworks show in Kailua was a real treat this year. It was a show that was close to not lighting up, almost leaving residents without fireworks to enjoy on July 4.

"It was so awesome and everyone was cheering, it was so wonderful, everyone is so happy," said Kailua fireworks spectator Marianne Timmerman.

"Everybody was enjoying it, a lot of noise, they brought it down tonight!" said fireworks spectator Chad Morales.

Last year, the Kailua Fireworks Organization wasn't able to raise enough funds in time for Independence Day. It left residents and those who went to the windward side to celebrate upset.

"Last year we had to go to Ala Moana, and it was really upsetting because we came down here like every year since I was a little kid," said Kaneohe resident Anny Moniz.

This year it was another close call. Community members chipped in $31,000, but it fell far short of the requirement. Then came a man who calls himself Uncle Kokua, a part-time Kailua resident, who donated $25,000, allowing the night sky to light up. It was a much needed boost, for the 65-year tradition that organizers thought was going to disappear.

"If you don't have fireworks for several years, people forget the tradition, and it may be lost forever. We just didn't want to see that happen," said Jana Holden with the Kailua Fireworks Organization.

But everyone pulled through, allowing for a full experience of the Fourth in Kailua. Kailua Beach Park was packed early with those trying to reserve a spot for the show.

"Fourth of July is getting everyone together and celebrating -- food, fireworks, sparklers, the whole enjoyment," said Kailua resident Ronie Carvalho.

There were paper hats passed around the park to collect funds for Kailua fireworks next year.

Click here to see the report by Nana Ohkawa.

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