HONOLULU (KHON2) — While tourism, food and retails seems to have bounced back from the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s one industry that has not recovered. Hopefully that changes this week. The carnival is returning to Hawaii for the first time since the pandemic. EK Fernandez is hoping this is the start of a rebound.
“We’re glad that we get to see everyone’s smiling faces,” said Scott Fernandez, owner of EK Fernandez Shows. “Get to see everybody and enjoy and get together finally.”
The Aloha Freedom Festival kicks off this Friday with some new changes. For one, there will be a cap on capacity. Only 5,600 people will be allowed in at anytime.
Disinfecting wipes will be available for guests in the games tent and cleaning will be kicked up a notch.
“We do your sanitation, regular sanitation with people throwing all the tables underneath the main dining tent we have,” said Fernandez. “The restrooms are being cleaned regularly. We have staff on hand for that we’ve got plenty of hand sanitizer.”
Since it’s an outdoor event, masks will not be required, and you won’t have to social distance on rides. But guests can request it. Before entering, guest will have to fill out a COVID-19 questionnare.
“You have to fill out this check sheet similar, like when you have, you have to come in to Honolulu,” he said. “You have to verify that you’re not sick, and so forth, and so on.”
To avoid any long lines, festival goers can pre-load fun passes. Just head down to Aloha Stadium any day before Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and head toward the red kiosks.
In EK Fernandez’s 118 year history, this comeback is a special one.
“It was looking pretty, dark and we’re still in recovery mode,” said Fernandez. “It’ll take a while to get back to the size that we would normally be, and that’ll come back for sure. So all the fan favorites may not be there this time.”
However, Fernandez promises they’ll be back with bigger things to come.
“You’ll see us in 2022 just the way we were,” Fernandez said. “By the time State Fair comes around next year we’re going to put on a monster.”
For more information on the Aloha Freedom Festival, click here.