Memorial Day ceremonies, traffic restrictions, plus what’s open, closed

Monday, May 29, 2017, is Memorial Day, a federal holiday.

National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl

A ceremony will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl at 8:30 a.m.

It is sponsored by Gov. David Ige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, the U.S. Veterans Administration, the State of Hawaii Office of Veteran Services, the City and County of Honolulu, the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam Commemorative Committee, various Vietnam veterans organizations, and several other groups.

The ceremony will include speeches, presentation of wreath, a cannon salute, a planned U.S. Air Force and Hawaii Air National Guard flyover, playing of taps, and performances by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

This year’s joint ceremony honors the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and will be larger than Memorial Day events in previous years with some 3,000 attendees expected.

“Because it’s the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we do anticipate larger crowds than usual. We usually get about a thousand people up there. This year, we’re anticipating about three times that amount,” said Jeanne Ishikawa, deputy director for the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The event is free and open to the public, however there will be no public parking in Punchbowl.

Shuttle Map
Shuttle Map
Parking Map
Parking Map

Traffic restrictions/shuttle information

Parking and driving in Punchbowl will be restricted until noon and gravesite visitors are asked to arrive after this time. No personal vehicles will be allowed before noon unless previously authorized.

Free shuttles will be available for the public from the Alapai Transit Center from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. the morning of the ceremony. Eighteen city buses will continuously shuttle attendees during this time. The last shuttle departs at 7:30 a.m. Attendees are required to be within Punchbowl by 8 a.m., after which access into Punchbowl will be restricted until the ceremony is finished. Shuttle service back to the Alapai Transit Center will commence following the conclusion of the ceremony and the last shuttle back will depart at noon. Regular bus rules apply to the shuttle service, including limits on baggage.

Shuttle riders are encouraged to park at one of several free sites, including: the Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building parking lot, Alapai Transit Center parking lot, and President William McKinley High School’s parking lot accessible from S. King Street. TheHandi-Van reserved rides and licensed/marked taxi cabs will be allowed to drive into Punchbowl.

Due to Memorial Day activities, tour vehicles will be prohibited from accessing the facility for three days starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, until 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30.

Click here for more information.

Lantern Floating Hawaii 2017 Ceremony

On Monday, May 29, more than 7,000 lanterns will illuminate the waters off Magic Island at Ala Moana Regional Park for the annual Lantern Floating Hawaii ceremony, officiated by Shinnyo-en and presented by Na Lei Aloha Foundation. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available at the Hawaii Convention Center from 7 a.m. to midnight, with free shuttle service to Magic Island from 3–6:15 p.m., returning to the Hawaii Convention Center after the ceremony until 9:30 p.m.

The schedule follows:

10 a.m. Lantern Request Tent opens
6:10 p.m. Pre-ceremony performance by Shinnyo Taiko
6:30 p.m. Ceremony begins: Shinnyo Taiko, Music, Oli, Hula, Her Holiness Shinso Ito, Head of Shinnyo-en, to address audience followed by the lighting of the Light of Harmony and floating of the lanterns
7:30 p.m. Ceremony concludes

Traffic restrictions

The following traffic changes will be in effect surrounding and at Ala Moana Regional Park:

  • The parking lot at Magic Island will be closed to the public on Monday, May 29, from 4 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Ala Moana Boulevard (Waikiki-bound), from Piikoi Street to Atkinson Drive, will be designated a “no parking, tow away” zone on Monday, May 29, from 4:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • In the event of a gridlock within the park, the Atkinson Drive and Kamakee Street entrances will have limited access into the park and will be monitored by the Honolulu Police Department.
  • At the end of the ceremony (around 7:30 p.m.), the Honolulu Police Department will provide traffic assistance for the public crossing along Ala Moana Boulevard and at the Atkinson Drive intersection.

Click here for more information.

Additional ceremonies

At the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, public events celebrated on Sunday, May 28, include the Roll Call of Honor Remembrance Ceremony at 10 a.m. to honor the veterans who served during the Vietnam War.  The Boy Scouts of America will conduct a ceremony at noon that commemorates their annual “Good Turn” event decorating all the graves with lei and miniature U.S. flags.

The World War I Centennial Commemoration takes place Sunday, May 28, at 10 a.m. at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium. The ceremony honors all who served and lost their lives, while paying special tribute to the 10,000 from Hawaii who volunteered a century ago with at least 101 making the ultimate sacrifice. Keynote speakers include Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Patrick H. Brady, a Medal of Honor-decorated Vietnam veteran, and Brig. Gen. Bryan E. Suntheimer, U.S. Army Pacific deputy commanding general, National Guard. A Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam honor guard and rifle detail, Hula Hālau Olana, and paddle-out led by the Mid-Pacific Surf Club round out the events.

The Army will hold an intimate Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony at Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m. Col. Steve Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, will be the speaker for this event. Representatives from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Hawaii World War I Centennial Task Force will also participate, placing wreaths to honor fallen comrades. The public is invited. Visitors who do not possess a military ID should enter Schofield through Lyman Gate on Kunia Road, where they will be subject to an installation security background check. All vehicle occupants 16 years of age and older must present a valid state or government photo ID, and the vehicle driver must provide a current driver’s license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance and safety check.

Schofield Barracks Post Cemetery (Photo: U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)

What’s open/closed

The City and County of Honolulu offices will be closed on Monday.

  • Emergency ambulance, fire, lifeguard, medical examiner, and police services will be available.
  • TheBus will operate on a Sunday schedule. For route and schedule information, please go to
  • Refuse will be collected and transfer stations, convenience centers, H-POWER, and the Waimānalo Gulch Sanitary Landfill will be open.
  • Parks, municipal golf courses, botanical gardens, and the Honolulu Zoo will be open.
  • The Neal Blaisdell Center box office will be closed.
  • The People’s Open Markets will not be held.
  • All Satellite City Halls and Driver Licensing Centers will be closed.

The following traffic and parking regulations will be in effect:

  • On-street parking will be free, except for the meters on Kalākaua Avenue along Queen Kapiolani Park and metered parking lots.
  • Traffic lanes will not be coned for contraflow.
  • Parking in Lanikai for the Memorial Day holiday weekend will be restricted on all streets and shoulders, Saturday-Monday, May 27-29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Those wishing to access Lanikai beach and/or the Lanikai Pillboxes Trail over the three-day Memorial Day Holiday weekend may walk, bike, take TheBus Route 70 Lanikai, or get dropped off. For information regarding TheBus Route 70 Lanikai, please visit or call 848-5555.

Kauai County

County of Kauai offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, along with all of the refuse transfer stations, the Kekaha Landfill, all HI-5 bottle redemption centers, and Puhi Metals Recycling Center.

In addition, all of the neighborhood centers will be closed.

Since the Kapaa and Waimea swimming pools are normally closed on Mondays, they will be closed on Tuesday, May 30 to observe the holiday.

The Kauai Bus will be operating on a modified schedule on Memorial Day. For more information, visit or call 246-8110.

Residential refuse pick-up will not be affected by the holiday and will continue as scheduled.

Normal business hours for county offices and services will resume on Tuesday, May 30 except for the Kapaa and Waimea pools.

For more information about recycling, visit or call 241-4841.

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