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Plan ahead to attend Hokulea homecoming, officials warn

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    Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson, at the microphone, and Mayor Kirk Caldwell, right, spoke to the media Wednesday at Magic Island about the logistics and security measures for the June 17 arrival of the Hokule‘a there.

In anticipation of about 50,000 people attending next week’s homecoming of the Hokule‘a, the city is urging people to get there by bus, carpool or bike because parking will be restricted at Ala Moana Regional Park.

The Hawaiian voyaging canoe is expected to arrive at Magic Island on June 17 after a three-year journey sailing nearly 52,000 miles around the world, to 28 countries and 85 international ports.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson and other PVS and city, state and federal officials held a news conference Wednesday at Magic Island to discuss preparations.

Caldwell said the voyage has better connected Hawaii “to the rest of the planet.”

“We’re going to make sure that people have a blast and that people are safe and we all leave at the end of the day with that spirit of the Hokule‘a in our hearts and we take it no matter where we go, no matter who we are, no matter where we come from,” said Caldwell.

There will be no general parking available at Magic Island beginning June 15 in preparation for the event. There will also be no parking available on the makai side of Ala Moana Boulevard. The tennis courts will also be closed on June 17.

Free parking will be available at McKinley High School from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with shuttle service to the event departing frequently from the Pensacola Street side of the campus. Parking will also be available at the Hawai‘i Convention Center for $10 for the day, with shuttle service departing from the ground floor.

There will be limited handicapped-accessible parking at Magic Island for attendees who have a placard in the car with a photo ID.

The Honolulu Police Department may also shut down and reopen Ala Moana Park Drive as needed. No pop-up tents will be allowed around the perimeter of the multipurpose field, and there will be no canoe tours or entry on the Hokule‘a.

Four voyaging canoes from the Hawaiian islands will arrive at the Magic Island marina between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., followed by two canoes from the Pacific voyaging community at 8:30 a.m., and finally escort vessel Hikianalia and the Hokule‘a at 9 a.m. A homecoming ceremony will start at 10:30 a.m., and a hoolaulea celebration featuring island music stars runs from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

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