HONOLULULU (KHON2) — Thousands of Hawaii seniors will be graduating soon and the celebrations will almost mirror those pre-pandemic. But it may be harder and cost more to get some things this year.

For the first time in two years, Hawaii high school seniors will be celebrating one of the biggest milestones in their lives with fewer restrictions.

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Lahainaluna High School Senior Class Advisor Jackie Ellis said “they’re definitely getting pretty amped for it.”

Ellis said they just found out they will be allowed to have a lei ceremony.

“I know that’s such a big moment for kids here. And I’m so excited to just see it and celebrate all of these students who have worked hard to get this school year back to normal.”

After all, what graduation would be complete without the fragrant flower lei and bunches of balloons.

Lin’s Lei Shop Manager Tony Nguyen said business is booming but they also tell me keeping up with the demand is posing some challenges.

“Of course everyone wants fragrant leis, your tubarose, your pikake, your ginger, your puakenikeni,” Nguyen said.

Haku lei and maile lei are also in high demand. But Nguyen said they’re facing shortages across the board and they’re are not as many people sewing lei.

“Our suppliers already told us that its going to be hard this year and to deal with the high demand because it’s already hard right now and we’re not in it — we’re not in the busy season yet,” he explained.

Party supply stores are feeling it too according to Party Pizzazz Manager Bennett Chan.

“We were all excited with it, yes, we can have a lot of big graduation parties like we used to have and all that. And then all of a sudden, we get dealt this blow with the shortage of helium,” Chan said. “I have a lot of balloons, and we could still get the balloons and we can get most of the colors. But the helium is the biggest thing.”

The shortages and supply chain issues are impacting prices.

According to Chan prices have gone up 25% to 30%

But Nguyen said some customers aren’t phased.

Honolulu resident Kelson Paiva said he thinks the lei signify something important and that “people will still buy regardless (of the price).”

The best advice, according to Nguyen and Chan — get your orders in early.

Wet’N’Wild Director of Sales and Marketing Eddie Galdones said they are receiving more requests for project grad events with things loosening up.

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“We’ve picked up four (project grad reservations) this year,” Galdones said. “Previous years, we’ve done back-to-back project grads, anywhere from six to 12 schools per night. So it’s slowly coming back around.”