Tuesday, December 7, 1999

Year 2000
panel hopes events
draw tourists

Y2K events will be held
throughout the year

By Pat Omandam


The Hawaii Millennium Commission has completed plans for New Year's Eve, as well as throughout 2000.

While some events planned or sanctioned by the commission did not materialize, many have been scheduled, said Lynne Madden, executive vice president of Island Heritage and commission co-chairwoman.

"I think that we're very excited about the Kakaako project and the midnight madness. Those are the two that I think will provide the people of Hawaii with alternative ways to enjoy the New Year," she said.

Nearly 100 events were listed on the commission's calendar as of Nov. 24 that was provided by the commission. The Children's Youth Millennium Congress in October was the official kickoff event for the year-long celebration.

As part of his State-of-the-State speech this year, Gov. Ben Cayetano said he wanted to lure 500,000 former Hawaii residents back to the islands for a visit in the year 2000. To do so, he created a commission headed by Madden and former Gov. John Waihee to organize events for 2000.

Some events touted by the commission fell through, including a New Year's Eve concert by Michael Jackson, a Diamond Head Crater cultural festival, an international skydiving tournament and an international drum festival. A few other millennium events proposed by individuals or private organizations did not make it due to lack of funding or interest.

The commission itself has been hampered by a lack of funding, delaying its efforts to move quickly on plans.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority on Nov. 3 approved $750,000 for the commission's work.

"We didn't get nearly as much as we wanted. But what we're going to do is do the very best with what we've got," Madden said.

Another half-million tourists to Hawaii in 2000 would boost the state's economy by as much as $800 million.

"I think in the end we still have an outside chance of achieving our goal of attracting 500,000 into the state," Cayetano said.

The midnight madness event on Dec. 31 is the successor to the nonalcoholic First Night held downtown. Now dubbed "Starlight MADDness," it will be held at Ala Moana Beach Park and will include food booths, live entertainment and a synchronized fireworks display from Magic Island, sponsored by the commission.

Madden said the Kakaako event includes a well-known radio personality from Europe who will do a New Year's Eve show in Australia and then in Hawaii, taking advantage of the time difference to do two New Year's Eve shows.

Celebration 2000 - Your guide
to the party of the century

Updated Millennium Events Calendar

Parties to greet the new year will be family affairs

Here are the Hawaii Millennium Commission events for Dec. 31, subject to change:

Bullet Moonlight Family Jamboree 2000, Big Island. Dance, music, craft, food and games for the family. Call 808-935-4927.

Bullet West Maui Ohana New Year's Celebration, Maui. Non-alcoholic family event. 808-667-2805 or 808-661-3237.

Bullet "Closing the Door" art exhibition, Koa Gallery, Kapiolani Community College. Mixed media miniature art exhibit. 734-9375.

Bullet Millennium celebration, Kaanapali. Midnight fireworks display and individual hotel events. 808-661-3271

Bullet Cultural festival, Kauai. Alcohol-free festival for family.

Bullet Starlight MADDness, Ala Moana Park. First Night event. 847-9322.

Bullet Phuture Hawaii 2000, Oahu. Multi-cultural, multi-city gathering of music and art. 923-3167.

Bullet Fun run/walk, Honolulu. Five-kilometer run/walk at midnight from Iolani Palace. 737-2422.

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