HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Annual Shinnyo Lantern Floating Ceremony is returning in-person this Memorial Day. Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend, and officials are urging everyone to arrive early.

Preparations are underway Thursday, May 25 at Ala Moana Beach Park. Many Oahu residents are planning ahead and are looking to reconnect and remember loved ones who have passed.

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“It’s a good experience for visitors and residents alike they can enjoy the surroundings and respect their ancestors and family,” said Craig Takahashi, Manoa resident.

Officials said individual lanterns are no longer available since those were pre-reserved this year.

“We really encourage you to take part by going online before midnight the night before on Memorial Day, submitting your remembrances that will be placed on lanterns,” said Charlene Ide Flanter, Na Lei Aloha Foundation Co-Executive Director.

For those planning on coming down to Ala Moana Beach Monday, May 29, they can still hand write their messages that will be placed on lanterns. Look for the white tents near Magic Island to do so.

Now, the City is anticipating over 50,000 people to come and gather here at Ala Moana Regional Park Monday. Event organizers tell me the stage behind me will be much smaller this year allowing for more crowd space.

On Monday, parking on the makai side of Ala Moana Boulevard eastbound will not be allowed. The Honolulu Police Department will be directing traffic from the Kamakee Street and Atkinson Drive entrances.

“Starting at about noon, they’re going to be having Atkinson as the only entrance into the park and then kind of doing a one way in type of traffic flow; and they don’t want the traffic overflowing onto Ala Moana Boulevard,” said Nate Serota, Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer.

No overnight camping will be allowed, and the park will open at 4 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. Officials are asking everyone to pick up after themselves, limit loud music and avoid putting any stakes in the ground larger than 8 inches.

“We have newly renovated bridges that allow for bigger capacity for pedestrians coming in to the people’s park here at Ala Moana,” said Serota.

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“It’s truly a very spiritual experience, and we want to encourage all people to come,” said Rick Blangiardi, Mayor of Honolulu.