Honolulu Residents and Visitors Celebrate 200 Years of NOAA with a Weekend of Fun and Education in Waikiki

On March 24-25 NOAA offices in Hawaii and the Pacific celebrated NOAA's 200th Anniversary with a weekend full of activities for the public. RADM Sam DeBow represented NOAA Administrator VADM Conrad Lautenbacher at the successful affair, attended by over 8,000 people.

Daytime festivities began with NOAA joining the 1st Annual Great Hawaiian Folk Life Festival at Kapiolani Park. Located at the foot of Diamond Head next to Waikiki Beach, the park is a major attraction for tourists and a favorite gathering place for locals. The festival featured plenty of activities for keiki (children) and an information booth staffed by NOAA employees engaging members of the public. Staff answered visitors' questions about NOAA's work and conveyed messages about the NOAA mission of science, service, and stewardship. Leaflets and other informational material were distributed.

In the evening, the festivities moved across the street to Waikiki Beach to become part of the "Sunset on the Beach" event, a regular public entertainment popular with local residents and visitors. At this edition of the event, NOAA partnered with the City and County of Honolulu, the Waikiki Improvement Association, Tesoro, and the Girl Scouts to provide an evening of music, food, activities, and movies. The event was hosted by the Mayor of Honolulu who recognized several NOAA partners for their contributions. The featured films were "Little Mermaid" and "A Shark Tale" - delightful entertainment for viewers of all ages.

In addition, viewers were treated to presentations of a NOAA 200th Anniversary celebration video and a special Little Mermaid marine debris trailer. Perhaps the biggest hit was an award winning marine debris video produced by 3rd grade students from Kipapa Elementary School. Throughout the evening, audience members were quizzed about NOAA and those with correct answers were rewarded with NOAA prizes.