Today, the Polynesian Cultural Center is celebrating its 55th anniversary, marked by its continuing commitment to showcase the traditions, arts, music and cultures of Polynesia and its people.
“Fifty-five years ago, the Polynesian Cultural Center embarked on a journey our founders envisioned as a uniquely rare opportunity to educate the world about the magnificent people of Polynesia,” said Alfred Grace, president and CEO of the Polynesian Cultural Center. “We celebrate this anniversary reaffirming our dedication to continually improve how our guests experience Polynesia by engaging with people proud to share their culture and heritage.”
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On October 13, 1963, the Polynesian Cultural Center opened, inspired by the popular hukilau celebrations held on Laie’s beaches during the 1940s and 1950s. In those days, visitors came to Laie to watch residents net fish, then joined them in a festive beachside luau featuring the music, dance and foods of Polynesia. The money raised supported community needs.
In the first full year following its opening, the Polynesian Cultural Center attracted 175,000 guests, a figure that today is surpassed in the first few months of the year. In its 55 years, the Polynesian Cultural Center has entertained and educated more than 40 million guests.
The Polynesian Cultural Center has progressively expanded in size and guest experiences over time, while remaining true to its original intent. It is anchored by six authentic island villages on 42 lushly landscaped acres, which is intersected by a scenic lagoon. At the villages, guests enjoy exhibits, engaging presentations and hands-on activities while interacting with the native people of Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, and Aotearoa (New Zealand).
New guest experiences are continuously being introduced, upgraded and planned. Most recently, a new water show, Huki, was unveiled in August on the lagoon featuring a diverse array of canoes, including a long waka (Maori canoe) and outrigger canoes, complemented by special double-hulled vessels carrying drummers, dancers, singers and storytellers.
Free Concert to Celebrate 55th Anniversary on October 20
Next Saturday, October 20, from 7:00-10:00 p.m., the Polynesian Cultural Center will celebrate its 55th anniversary with a free Birthday Bash Concert, featuring Hawaii artists Kimie Miner, Rebel Souljahz and Manao Company. Seating is offered on a first come, first served basis.
Admission is free to all Hawaii residents who are members of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Ohana Club loyalty program. Members present their Ohana Club card at the main ticket office to receive entry. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult Ohana Club member. Registration for the Ohana Club is fast, easy and free. Sign up online at www.polynesia.com/ohana55 or call (808) 293-3469.
In addition, all Ohana Club members will be automatically entered to win a pair of Bruno Mars concert tickets for his performance at Aloha Stadium on Thursday, November 8.
Committed to a Mission of Education
A nonprofit organization, 100 percent of the Polynesian Cultural Center’s revenue is used for daily operations and to support the education of its student-employees from Brigham Young University Hawai‘i (BYUH). In its first 55 years, the Polynesian Cultural Center has provided financial assistance to approximately 20,000 BYUH students from more than 70 different countries. About 750 BYUH students are employed at the Polynesian Cultural Center.
For more information about the Polynesian Cultural Center or to make reservations, please visit www.polynesia.com.