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Honolulu: It's party time for Waikiki's oldest hotel, and you're invited

Honolulu: It's party time for Waikiki's oldest hotel, and you're invited
Honolulu's Moana Surfrider hotel will turn 115 in March. It's the oldest hotel along famous Waikiki Beach. (Moana Surfrider)

The First Lady of Waikiki is turning 115 years old, and there's a big birthday bash planned next month.

The celebration is in honor of Waikiki's first hotel, now known as the Moana Surfrider. The resort, which is in the Westin family, occupies an enviable location along now-bustling Kalakaua Avenue.

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The original hotel, the Moana, welcomed its first guests on March 11, 1901. Now the property will mark the occasion with two March 11 events.

In 1925, Waikiki was far less visited, and therefore far less developed, than it is now. The Moana hotel can be seen in the upper left.
In 1925, Waikiki was far less visited, and therefore far less developed, than it is now. The Moana hotel can be seen in the upper left. (Moana Surfrider)

Starting at 6 p.m., chefs and mixologists will demonstrate their flair during LOL: Love of Libations. Guests on the Diamond Lawn will be able to sample food and beverages from various Honolulu restaurants and bars.

Tickets cost $75 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Honolulu-based Life Foundation, an organization fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS in the state.

The evening's second celebration gets underway at 6:30 p.m. under the hotel's famed, and giant, banyan tree.

The setting is where, for 40 years starting in 1935, the radio program "Hawaii Calls" originated, introducing generations to the cultural traditions of the islands.

A modern-day version of "Hawaii Calls" will take place March 11. It will be broadcast from under the same banyan tree by which entertainers performed for the old-time radio show.
A modern-day version of "Hawaii Calls" will take place March 11. It will be broadcast from under the same banyan tree by which entertainers performed for the old-time radio show. (Moana Surfrider)

"From Hawaii's sunny shore under the big banyan tree at the Moana Hotel, facing the famed beach, Waikiki, we send the music of the islands," host Webley Edwards began the broadcasts.

Slack key guitarist Makana will headline a musical concert during the modern-day tribute to old-time radio. He will be joined by several other Hawaiian performers.

Tickets, priced at $115, include a cocktail reception.

The hotel's Beach Bar is introducing a new drink, Ode to 1989, as a toast to the year in which the property reopened after a construction project that restored its original grandeur.

Through Dec. 25, the Moana Surfrider is offering a 115th anniversary room package. Book a room for three nights starting at $387 a night and receive the fourth night for $115.

The offer also includes a $115 resort credit and a book documenting the hotel's storied history.

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