A UH Warrior tailgate party -- on the mainland
THE San Francisco-based Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California is gearing up for its 9th annual Road Warrior Tailgate Party and, in true Hawaii style, will make a couple days out of the opportunity.
The UH Warrior football team is to play the Dick Tomey-coached San Jose State Spartans on Oct. 12 at San Jose Municipal Stadium, home of the minor league baseball team.
In fact, the Giants are among the event sponsors, who also include the chamber, Hukilau bar and restaurant in San Jose, Na Koa Football Club, UH Alumni Association and Rainbowtique.
Because the game is on a Friday, the pre-game party will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Hukilau. The Road Warrior Party will be from 2 to 5 p.m. on game day at the stadium, followed by the post-game party back at Hukilau.
Kapena Unplugged, featuring Kelly Boy Delima's son Kapena, will play at the Thursday night party that will feature prizes of Warrior merchandise from Rainbowtique.
The tailgate party will also include live music, food and drink as will the post-game soiree at Hukilau at 230 Jackson Street, again with Rainbowtique prizes.
The chamber's first tailgate event dates back to a chilly November in 1999 when UH beat San Jose 62 to 41.
"We've done one every year," said HCCNC President Eric Tao, formerly of Hilo.
In past years attendance has been from 2,000 to 3,000 people, mostly Hawaii ex-pats, "and we had ti leaves in this big wave marching to the stadium. They didn't know what hit 'em," he said.
This year "is challenging, since it's a Friday afternoon game, so I don't know what attendance will be."
With the pre-game party and the game itself on work days, attendance could be 300 to 500, as people are more likely to head straight to the stadium after work on Friday.
The chamber hopes, however, that all the Hawaii fans at the game will pour into Hukilau to celebrate the hoped-for victory. It will be a combination sidewalk-restaurant party, to accommodate the crowd.
As Dick Tomey was once head coach of the UH Rainbow Warriors, as they were called at the time, this year's Road Warrior events will be, "kind of all in the family," Tao said.
The Warriors will be returning to California to play against Fresno State Nov. 10, but there won't be a second Road Warrior event. "We just do one a year," said Tao.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com