HONOLULU (KHON2) — Iam Tongi is the latest great talent to come from Hawaiʻi.
Last month, Sasha Colby from Waimanalo won RuPaul’s Drag Race; and this month, we are on the verge of Iam Tongi winning American Idol.
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On Sunday, May 14, Iam Tongi was elevated to the final three ranking in American Idol.
Everyone in the United States has been glued to their devices to be a part of Iam Tongi’s epic journey from growing up in Kahuku on Oʻahu’s North Shore to moving to the mainland because his family could no longer afford to live here to taking the world by storm with his musical talents.
Now that Iam Tongi is in the top three finalists for American Idol, He participated in his big homecoming concert that drew thousands of residents and visitors.
Iam Tongi’s mother was on hand to provide words of wisdom and to celebrate her son.
The concert and parade took place on the North Shore on Tuesday, May 16, and KHON2 was there to soak in the celebration of one of Hawaiʻi’s talented sons.
If you made the trek, then parking was probably the most important part of enjoying Tuesday’s concert. There were a couple of ways you can make your way north.
One way was to be one of the 3,000 people who will be able park at Turtle Bay Resort. Organizers said that the gates opened at 3:30 p.m. and that the entrance for parking was at the Kawela gate. Concertgoers were told that If possible, then to carpool with as many people as possible.
If you were unable to carpool or did not want to have to worry about the logistics of parking, folks were able take advantage of the shuttles that were going out. There were shuttles available that traveled from Hauʻula shopping center, Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi and across the street from Kahuku High School. These ran from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Before the concert began, there was a parade to celebrate and allow a maximum amount of supporters to be a part of this momentous occasion.
The parade began at 4 p.m. at the Polynesian Cultural Center. This parade included Iam Tongi, his family and his peers from Kahuku High School who graduated with him as they made their way to Turtle Bay Resort.
The concert began at around 5:15 p.m. at Turtle Bay Resort. The stage was constructed as soon as Iam Tongi’s ascension to the final three occurred. But those who went to the concert were told keep to give themselves a few hours head start.
To the delight of everyone in attendance, Kahuku High School’s football team performed their exclusive haka.
Concert goers were allowed to bring blankets and signs; but they were not allowed to bring alcohol, chairs, coolers or outside food. So, many had to pack minimally.
But there were no worries to be had for the minimalist request from organizers as there were lots of food vendors onsite; so, no one went go hungry.
Organizers said they were expecting about 10,000+ people to attend the concert and parade.
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Organizers said Honolulu Police Department provided some officers for security. There was also a private security company helping out with that. The message to the crowd was have fun and keep in mind what this event is all about.