Need to know: New Year’s Eve fireworks permits, professional aerial shows


If you’re planning to celebrate the new year with fireworks, you’d better act fast.

Firecrackers are a big part of New Year’s celebrations here in the islands, and demand for permits and firecrackers goes up every year.

On Oahu, firecracker permits are on sale now, but only until Thursday.

The firecrackers themselves go on sale Dec. 26, and stores we spoke to say they will sell out.

Don Quijote is one of 62 local stores that will begin selling firecrackers next week.

A spokesperson says the company increased its order 10-15 percent from last year, and tries to meet the demand, but it’s hard not knowing how many permits will be issued.

The number of fireworks permits has continually increased from around from around 10,922 in 2013 to 17,151 in 2016.

This year’s numbers aren’t out yet, but everyone KHON2 spoke to says they think more permits will be issued this year.

Oahu resident Byron Makishima stopped into the Fort Street Mall Satellite City Hall to purchase his firecracker permit. He says part of the reason why firecrackers are so popular, is because most other fireworks are banned.

“I mean from when you’re little, that’s what I remember doing every New Year’s,” Makishima said. “It’s become part of the culture, and I really miss it.”

The dangers related to fireworks, especially illegal fireworks, are no secret. Last year, one woman died after an illegal firework exploded.

Emergency Medical Services responded to 270 calls last New Year’s Eve, and spokeswoman Shayne Enright says officials expect this New Year’s Eve to be a busy one.

The Honolulu Police Department already received 500 fireworks-related 911 calls this month. Last year, HPD received 1,100 calls between Dec. 1 and Dec. 27.

A spokesperson for the Honolulu Fire Department says firefighters have yet to respond to any firework-related fires this month, but they do anticipate calls as it gets closer to the new year.

“I know there’s some hazards having fireworks,” Makishima said, “but I think it’s worth it personally, because we’re going stay within the law, right.”

Click to read more fireworks information:

City and County of Honolulu

A permit is required to purchase firecrackers on Oahu.  Firecrackers must be purchased from licensed retailers no earlier than five days prior to its use.  Retail licenses shall be prominently displayed in public view and secured at the location for which the license has been issued.  Licensed retailers shall not sell more than 5,000 individual firecrackers per permit.

Chapter 20, ROH requires that firecracker permits be obtained no later than ten days before they are used.  The last day firecracker permits will be sold is December 21, 2017.

The sale of firecrackers within the City and County of Honolulu begins on December 26, 2017, and ends at 12 midnight on December 31, 2017.

On Oahu, firecrackers may be ignited or discharged from 9 p.m. on December 31, 2017, until 1 a.m. on January 1, 2018.

Individuals who purchase firecracker permits shall be reminded that a firecracker permit does not guarantee the availability of firecrackers for purchase, as firecracker inventories are determined by fireworks wholesalers and retailers.

According to Chapter 132D, HRS, the use of aerial fireworks is prohibited, unless the HFD’s Fire Chief issues a display permit.

Public Fireworks Displays on Oahu

All firing times are approximate

Display Location: Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu Harbor
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 9 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m., and 12 Midnight

Display Location: Barge fronting Kahala Avenue
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 10:30 p.m.

Display Location: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Lagoon
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 11:45 p.m.

Display Location:
Barge offshore of Waikiki
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 12 Midnight

Display Location: The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 12 Midnight

Display Location: Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, Coves 1 and 2
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 12 Midnight

Display Location: Turtle Bay Resort
Display Date: December 31, 2017
Firing Time: 11:59 p.m.

Hawaii County

Fireworks permits will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, Dec. 26, at the following locations for the upcoming New Year’s celebration. These sites are:

  • Parker Ranch Shopping Center Food Court, Kamuela, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31.

Fireworks permits will also be sold at the following firecracker vending outlets:

  • KTA Puainako, 50 E. Puainako Street, Hilo
  • KTA Kona; Kona Coast Shopping Center, 74-5594 Palani Rd. Kailua Kona
  • KTA Keauhou, 78-6831 Alii Drive, Keauhou Kona
  • Pacific Fireworks Kona, 74-5629 Kuakini Hwy, Suite 155, Kailua-Kona
  • J. Hara Store, 17-343 Volcano Hwy Kurtistown, HI
  • BJ Alan Tent Kona, 74-5586 Palani Rd. Kailua Kona
  • BJ Alan Tent Kona, 74-5454 Makala Blvd. Kailua Kona
  • BJ Alan Tent 75-1000 Henry St. Kailua-Kona
  • BJ Alan Tent 325 Maka’ala St. Hilo
  • BJ Alan Tent Hilo, 111 E. Puainako St. Hilo
  • Long’s Puainako 111 E. Puainako St. Hilo
  • TNT Tent Hilo 381 E. Maka’ala St. Hilo

Fireworks permits will also be available for purchase beginning December 26 at:

  • Fire Administration Office located at the Hilo County Building, 25 Aupuni Street, Suite 2501, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on December 26, 27, 28, and 29.
  • Kona Fire Prevention Office, located at the West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy, Bldg E, second floor from, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on December 26, 27, 28, and 29.

Each permit costs $25 and will entitle the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers. Multiple permit purchases are authorized. Permits shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older and are non-transferable, and non-refundable.

Fireworks sales will begin on December 26 and will end at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Permits are not required for the purchasing of novelties and paperless firecrackers.

Setting off fireworks for New Year celebrations are allowed between the hours of 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Permits shall be visibly displayed at the site of use, during the time of the firing.

For more information on the purchasing of fireworks permits, or the use of fireworks, please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).

Maui County

Firework permits will become available on Monday, Dec. 18 until Dec. 29, 2017.

The sale of New Year’s Eve fireworks begins on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, and ends Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 at 12:01 a.m.

A fireworks permit is not required for consumer fireworks such as sparklers, snakes, and cylindrical or cone fountains which emit effects not higher than 12 feet off the ground.  However, a fireworks permit is required for the use of fire crackers.  The following are details for fireworks permits.

  • Each permit costs $25.00, payable by check/money order to the County of Maui. Cash will be accepted at the Fire Prevention Bureau and Pine Isle Market only
  • Each permit allows a purchase of up to 5,000 pieces of fire crackers
  • There is no limit to the number of permits issued to each person
  • Permit applicants must be 18 years or older and show proof of age at time of permit processing
  • 937 permits are available on Maui
  • 89 permits are available on Lanai
  • 84 permits are available on Molokai

*Permits are available December 18-29, 2017, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at these County of Maui offices:

  • CENTRAL MAUI, Fire Prevention Bureau – Consolidated Baseyard, 313 Manea Pl. Waikapu
  • WEST MAUI, County Parks & Recreation Permit Office – Lahaina Civic Center, 1840 Honoapiilani Hwy. Lahaina
  • MOLOKAI, County Parks & Recreation Permit Office – Mitchell Pauole Community Center, 90 Ainoa St.

*County offices are closed Monday, Dec. 25 in observance of Christmas.

A limited number of permits will be available at these retail locations:

KAHULUI

  • Phantom Fireworks, front parking lot of Queen Kaahumanu Center, 275 West Kaahumanu Ave.

KIHEI

  • Pacific Starr Fireworks, Piilani Shopping Village, 225 Piikea Ave.
  • TNT Fireworks Golden Dragon, Piilani Shopping Village, 277 Piikea Ave.

LANAI

  • Pine Isle Market

Permit required firecrackers will be sold at the following locations:

ALL MAUI LOCATIONS of:

  • CVS Longs Drugs
  • Foodland – with the exception of Lahaina Farms

WAILUKU

  • Sack N Save
  • Walgreens

KAHULUI

  • Phantom Fireworks, Queen Kaahumanu Center

KIHEI

  • Pacific Starr Fireworks, Piilani Shopping Village
  • TNT Fireworks Golden Dragon, Piilani Shopping Village

MOLOKAI

  • Misaki’s Grocery
  • Take’s Variety Store

LANAI

  • Pine Isle Market

The Maui Fire Department reminds residents of the following rules regarding fireworks use:

  • Fireworks can only be legally set off from 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve to 1 a.m. New Year’s Day
  • Setting off fireworks outside of designated times is punishable by law. Violations are subject to fines of up to $2,000
  • Aerial fireworks are illegal and extremely dangerous. The import, transfer, sale, or use of aerial fireworks without a permit is a Class C Felony

Public Aerial Fireworks Display Locations

Grand Wailea Resort – Offshore barge
3850 Wailea Alanui Drive
Dec. 31, 2017 – begins approx. 11:59 p.m.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai – Laydown Area between the resort and Manele Harbor
1 Manele Bay Rd.
Dec. 31, 2017 – begins approx. 11:59 p.m.

General Prohibitions 

  • It is unlawful to remove or extract pyrotechnic contents
  • It is unlawful to throw any ignited fireworks from a moving vehicle
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of health care facilities and facilities for animals
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks by schools
  • It is unlawful to set off fireworks on public roads, in County parks, at County facilities, cane fields, or places of worship
  • It is unlawful for any person without a permit to set off, ignite, discharge or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks within 500 feet from any hotel
  • It is unlawful for any person to offer for sale, sell or give any fireworks to minors, and for any minors to possess, purchase, or set off, ignite or otherwise cause to explode any fireworks, except that the parents or guardians may allow the minor to use fireworks while under the immediate supervision and control of an adult

Safety Tips

  • Only use approved firecrackers from a licensed retail outlet that posts its retail license.
  • Always read and follow warnings and instructions listed by the manufacturer to ensure the safe handling and use of firecrackers.
  • Never point or throw firecrackers at a person, building, or animal.
  • Never ignite firecrackers indoors.
  • Ensure your outdoor area is safe for firecracker use.
  • Firecrackers should only be lit on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry vegetation, and flammable materials.
  • Do not string firecrackers on utility poles.
  • Keep ladders, poles, or tie lines that are used to set up firecrackers at least ten feet away from power lines.
  • Never ignite firecrackers in metal or glass containers.
  • Have a garden hose or a bucket of water ready in the event of a fire.
  • Firecrackers must not be used by persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting firecrackers.
  • When lighting firecrackers, never position any part of your body over them.
  • Never attempt to reignite malfunctioning firecrackers.
  • Store firecrackers in a cool, dry place.
  • Never carry firecrackers in your pocket.
  • Never experiment with homemade firecrackers, as they are dangerous and illegal.

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