If you are one of those folks who watch “Hawaii Five-0” but don’t really give it another thought until the next episode airs, you may not know about the thousands of fans who are completely devoted to the show, cast and anything and everything “Five-0.” I have spent the last two years meeting and spending time with some of these “Five-0” fanatics and learned their love goes beyond the actors, characters and storyline — there also is great appreciation for Hawai‘i, our culture, and our island way of life.
In 2010 and 2011, “Hawaii Five-0” celebrated the new season with a fabulous red carpet event at “Sunset on the Beach” in Waikiki, where they showed the season premiere. I was lucky enough to attend the season two “Sunset on the Beach,” meet and talk with some of the stars for the “Five-0 Redux,” and also met many of the fans who came from around the world. Many of these fans, who created their own ‘ohana via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, came not only to attend “Sunset on the Beach,” but also to connect with other fans at a ‘Five-0’ Tweetup, a luau and brunch, as well as an island tour of the shooting spots for the show.
This year is a little different, as mainland fans who wanted to attend the season three premiere had to make some tough decisions. Many of them had to take a chance and guess at the date for “Sunset on the Beach” so they could finalize their travel plans. After the season three blessing and still no news of a planned red carpet event, fans kept their fingers crossed and kept to their travel itineraries hoping that “Sunset on the Beach” would happen.
On Monday, August 20, when Mike Gordon broke the news in his “Outtakes Online” blog, fans were a bit disappointed by the late announcement — yet many still decided to travel to Hawai‘i. I mean—it’s still a vacation in Hawai‘i, right? Thankfully, there will be a few events organized by local travel experts Bruce and Yaling Fisher of Hawaii Aloha Travel for fans to connect, and bloggers Lisa Woo and Keith Sato of “H50hana” along with Amy Bakari of “TeamH50,” also have plans to throw fan Tweetups for those coming in September.
Hawaii Aloha Travel, who helped about 40 fans make their travel plans, has a Tweetup planned from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, September 7 at Tiki’s Grill and Bar in Waikiki. On Sunday, September 9, they will take fans on an exclusive tour of various shooting locations that will end with a luau at Kualoa Ranch. And on Monday, September 10, there will be a tour of the Bayer Estate, which stands in for the McGarrett family home. Officer808 of the website “Five-0 Undercover,” as well as yours truly, will take fans on a tour of shooting spots and Kualoa Ranch before the luau. So there seem to be plenty of fan events to stoke the fever folks have for “Hawaii Five-0.”
Some fans wanted to do more than just attend events and try to see some live shooting of their favorite show. One fan wanted to do a give back for a charity that is close to Alex O’Loughlin, the Wounded Warrior Project. O’Loughlin had planned to participate in the Tough Mudders event in September, but because of scheduling conflicts, he no longer can join the team.
Fan Ellen Swedberg spent her summer creating a beautiful quilt in honor of the show. We’ll be taking donations for the quilt, and a special guest from “Hawaii Five-0” will give it away at the Kualoa Ranch luau. The quilt is amazing, as each block was created to show a special symbol or theme from “Hawaii Five-0.” Swedberg’s amazing talent can be seen in each block of the quilt; this will be a very special gift that not only represents the characters and some of the plotlines of “Hawaii Five-0,” but also many beautiful images and symbols of Hawai‘i.
All of the money raised will go directly to The Wounded Warrior Project. For more information about the “H50 ‘Ohana Quilt,” check out the Five-0 Redux Facebook page or the Wounded Warrior Project Proud Supporter website.
Regardless if fans get a chance to attend the “Sunset on the Beach” festivities on September 23, they will get their “Five-0” fix before the start of season three. I’m sure when they arrive they will be able to find more than just sunshine and surf, and between the local bloggers who are hosting events and the fans flying in from around the world, there will be more than enough aloha to go around.
Redux Side Note:
Don’t forget to watch the last few weeks of “Hawaii Five-0” repeats. This week was the Max-centric episode “Ha‘alele” and next week is the Halloween episode “Ka Iwi Kapu,” with guest star Robert Englund. Look for Brian Yang, who I wrote about in “Yang more than a “Geek God” in both episodes.
Wendie Burbridge is a published author, playwright and teacher who lives and works in Honolulu. Reach her via Facebook and follow her on Twitter.