Saturday, May 3, 2003

Officials hope new
turf survives test of feet

Items not allowed in stadium
List of graduation ceremonies

Graduations will be the first events on Aloha Stadium's new $1.3 million FieldTurf artificial surface.

Aiea High School seniors will be the first to walk on the new surface at their commencement ceremonies on May 24, just two days after the scheduled completion date for the installation.

So it's understandable that stadium officials are acting a bit like homeowners with new carpet and reminding the public to be careful and not to bring food and drink onto the FieldTurf.

"There's always been no food or drinks allowed, but it's a bigger concern (with the new FieldTurf)," said Eugene Tokuhama, the events manager for Aloha Stadium.

Tokuhama said the biggest worry is over gum and sunflower seeds getting into the new sand, rubber and polyethylene surface.

Aiea's graduation ceremony will be one of five at Aloha Stadium this year and one of more than 100 commencements around the state, including public high schools, charter schools, adult education, and public and private universities.

More than 10,000 high school seniors will receive diplomas over the next few weeks. Another 2,000 people will graduate from adult education schools, and thousands more are getting higher education degrees.

Graduation season begins May 12 when Chaminade University holds its commencement ceremonies at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, and continues every weekend after that at locations around the state until about mid-June.

The final ceremony of the season is for the Hilo Community School for Adults ceremony on July 26.

Some ceremonies in smaller, enclosed venues may require a ticket for seating.


Aloha Stadium restricts items
allowed inside at graduations

Officials are reminding people attending graduation ceremonies at Aloha Stadium that security will be similar to football games.

In addition to outside food and drink, backpacks and umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium.

Camcorders, cameras, leis and fanny packs are allowed but are subject to inspection at the entrance gates.

Mylar balloons are not permitted.

Multiple balloons should be tied together and not block views of the stage or Jumbotron. People are not allowed to release balloons inside the stadium.

Other banned items at the stadium are air horns or noisemakers, coolers, fireworks, illegal contraband and weapons.

Leis can be given to graduates in the parking lot after the ceremony.

Like last year, only lei vendors who have signed up with the stadium concessionaire will be allowed to sell leis at graduations.

Leis made of coins or bottled and canned beverages will not be sold. Stadium officials also do not recommend bringing those types of leis to the graduation ceremonies.


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