Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ala Moana Center!

Wow, what a fun night that was! Last night we helped one of our favorite shopping destinations in the world, Ala Moana Center, celebrate its 50th Birthday in a grand celebration held at Centerstage. Emceeing the event was KHNL (NBC) news anchor Howard Dashefsky who led us through a spectacular program which included introducing Francis Cofran, the General Manager of Ala Moana Center who acknowledged the 11 original tenants still with the shopping center after 50 years. Mayor Mufi Hannemann was supposed to attend but couldn't and sent words of birthday wishes to the center. A traditional hawaiian blessing kicked off the performances from the Taiko drummers, a Chinese Lion Dance and a rare treat, getting to hear the famous Hawaiian band, the Brothers Cazimero live, who sang "Happy Birthday" to Ala Moana as our cake was wheeled out onstage.

Anyone who lives on Oahu knew how humid it was yesterday. Yesterday, like Wednesday was very humid and it's always a concern for a cake to be out in the humidity, especially when it is all real cake inside, as ours was. The cake held up beautifully all the way to the end when it was presented and the candles blown out. Rick worked with Ala Moana Center to design a cake that would match the colors and brightly colored flowers used at the event. Orange was a striking and appropriate choice. The cake was extremely heavy to transport and quite tall. Everything on the cake was handcrafted and the logo handpainted. VIP guests got to enjoy the Guava Lava flavored cake after the celebration at a private event. We opted not to stand in the mile-long line for the "golden" tickets in the chocolate bars and instead supported the mall by having dinner at one of their restaurants with some friends of ours who came down to enjoy the event.

Happy 50th Birthday, Ala Moana! Here's to the next 50 years!!!

Here are some photos taken last night. We had prime seats and a perfect vantage point to capture it all. All four of the local news last night featured the event along with the cake and it got a sweet photo in today's Honolulu Advertiser newspaper. To see a short video from the event, visit the Honolulu Advertiser's site. Enjoy!

Emcee news anchor Howard Dashefsky. They don't call him "Dash" for nothing.

The VIP section, with the General Manager of Ala Moana and the 11 original tenants

the crowds lined 3 levels of the mall

Francis Cofran, General Manager of Ala Moana Center

the traditional hawaiian blessing ceremony

Taiko drummers -- what energy!

Feeding the Chinese lions during the lion dance

the awesome Brothers Cazimero

and their equally fabulous hula dancers

the lovely Jasmine carefully wheeling out the cake. It looked perfect!

"Happy Birthday Ala Moana" ....

the end of the celebration!

the cake held up beautifully!

the designer, Rick Reichart, and me (Sasha) happy after the celebration!

Alas, the fun comes to an end, but there are more celebrations to look forward to this weekend. Can't wait!

Aloha, til next time!

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