UPDATE: As of July 4, Ala Moana is in 9th place.
Ala Moana Regional Park is in the running for one of America’s favorites. Winning would not only highlight this beautiful Honolulu venue but also improve it, with a prize of $100,000. Coca-Cola has hosted this nationwide contest, “Live Positively – America Is Your Park,” for the past three years but leaves it up to city pride as to who the winner will be.
Located on Oahu’s southern shore, Ala Moana Regional Park (more commonly called Ala Moana Beach Park) is an island jewel.
Voting started at the end of May and ends July 15, 2012. Our Hawaii park continues to climb in the ranks; it started at 176th place at the beginning of the contest and has since jumped to 16th place as of tonight (Monday, June 25, 2012). Residents or visitors may vote as many times as they want on Coca-Cola’s website or on Foursquare. Each Foursquare “check-in” counts as 100 votes and can be made up to three times an hour.
Just last week, Coca-Cola gave Honolulu a $10,000 grant to improve Ala Moana Regional Park and to rally the community to vote for the park. The city says that if Ala Moana wins, monies may be used for work on sewer lines, sprinkler upgrades, general beautification and – a growing issue of concern – sand replacement. Second and third place parks get $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. The fourth place winner will be selected randomly from the top 25 parks and receives $15,000.
Mayor Peter Carlisle – shown here with Honolulu Junior Lifeguards – accepts a $10,000 grant from Coca-Cola last week.
Ala Moana is sought-after by tourists and locals alike, and with Oahu known as “The Gathering Place,” the 100-acre park has become one of its primary gathering locations. Families and friends can and do spend entire days here – picnicking, barbecuing and enjoying the park’s various activities. Ala Moana offers at least something for everybody; from tennis and sunbathing on land to surfing or stand up paddling in the turquoise waters, it’s difficult to ever get bored here. There’s also a calm water perfect for wading and swimming laps inside the protective reef, and with a number of lifeguard stands on the beach and a police substation in the park, it’s one of the safest beaches on the island. To add to the ideal of Hawaii being a melting pot of the Pacific, Ala Moana Regional Park is also the site of many cultural festivals, such as the annual Greek Festival and the Japanese Lantern Floating Ceremony on Memorial Day.
The park is not only home to Magic Island – a unique manmade peninsula that can almost qualify as a park of its own – but also to some of the best surf on Oahu’s southern shores. It’s one of the few places that can be enjoyed by the young and the old, as you’ll see toddlers splashing with their friends in the calm shoreline waters while their dads paddle out for a surf. Ala Moana is truly an embodiment of the Hawaii lifestyle, which is most likely the reason for its popularity. Like Waikiki, its nearby neighbor, the park is a slice of old school paradise amidst the towers of civilization, as Ala Moana Shopping Center is right across the street. So help keep the balance in paradise, and vote for Ala Moana Regional Park to make it America’s favorite park.
“ AMERICA’S FAVORITE PARK”CONTEST • Vote for Ala Moana Regional Park via www.livepositively.com/parks and search “Ala Moana Regional Park” or check-in at Foursquare (each check-in is worth 100 votes) • Voting ends July 15, 2012
Photo Credit: City and County of Honolulu