December 6, 2016

Party Planning on Lanai

Photo of barbecue grill with food at Lanai party.
Photo of barbecue grill with food at Lanai party.

Lanai has a number of catering and food options for events large and small.

Hosting a party on Lanai but not sure where to start? With the island’s remote location and modest retail options, some might assume that all event needs will have to be fulfilled by neighbor island vendors. However, the Lanai community has a number of resources to help you put together a festive celebration both big and small. Whether you are planning a holiday party, big wedding or kid’s birthday party, here are some helpful tips for putting on an event on Lanai.

1. Set a Budget

Party costs can often climb quickly and you could end up spending more than you intended. To help control costs, set a budget and track expenses.

Begin by creating a list of what is needed for the event, and include information such as the estimated cost, shipping fees, delivery date and tipping, if appropriate. Shipping and delivery can often add up when planning a party on Lanai. Whenever possible, place orders well in advance so you can take advantage of free shipping or holiday discounts and avoid the need to pay for expedited mail services.

Budgeting also helps determine the party venue, whether it’s a catered or potluck-style event, and what entertainment is the best fit. Stay on track during the planning process by noting the actual cost of items on your list. This will help you stick to your plan and determine where to make cost-saving adjustments.

2. Pick a Venue

When picking your party location, consider the number of people you’re inviting and the type of food that will be served.

Small gatherings can be hosted at home, but for larger parties celebrating major milestones, consider a venue that can accommodate all of your guests.

What is on the menu at your party may also determine your event location. Will you be firing up the grill or serving catered food under a tent? The beach may be fine for grilling but serving pupus and cooked meat may be best at the ILWU Hall or the Community Pool’s recreation room.

Popular event venues on Lanai are:


For parties hosted at home or outdoors, assess your seating and lighting needs. Consider the number of table and chairs needed. Will everyone be able to sit down and enjoy their food?

If you would like additional tables and chair for your event, they are available for rent at the Recreation Center. Keeping things casual? Spread lauhala mats and quilts on the ground and let people gather picnic-style.

Hosting outdoors? Don’t leave your guests in the dark! A little ambient lighting goes a long way and can be a part of your décor. Hang strings of lights along the roof, lanai or tree branches, and light some hurricane lanterns on the table.


If your party requires more lighting or you want to take your special celebration to the next level, consider consulting Jason Medeiros, a lighting specialist who can assist party hosts with professional indoor or outdoor lighting for parties or entertainment. Medeiros can be reached at 559-0925.


Worried there won’t be enough power to go around? Consider bringing a generator, but make sure it’s well out earshot and the venue you chose allows it.

3. Decide Who’s Cooking

One of the greatest expenses, and hassles, for an event host is food. Do you have enough time to prepare food for all your guests or is it better to order ahead? Corie Honda of Pine Isle Market recommends ordering in bulk from their grocery store.

“We tailor bulk orders for our customers depending on their event,” says Honda. “Popular options include Filipino chocolate meat, pork butt and pork belly. Chicken katsu and boneless skinless chicken are also favorites.”

In addition to ordering from Pine Isle, other grocery outlets and a number of Lanai restaurants offer catering and/or special platters for holiday events. Contact your favorite local restaurant to inquire about their catering options.

4. Pick Up a Cake

For those looking to wow guests with a custom cake, contact Carol Albright or her daughter Amanda Sunio, the duo will help bring your dream cake to life! Carol has worked in a bakery for most of her career, and creates cakes and cupcakes for all occasions. She specializes in cakes with buttercream icing, and her custom designs are tailored for events ranging from first birthdays to weddings.

Contact Amanda at 559-0811 or Carol at (414) 559-0811 to order your next cake! Novelty cakes or large orders require extra planning and design. Albright recommends ordering at least four weeks ahead of your event.

For smaller affairs, sheet cakes and 10-inch round cakes baked at the Four Seasons are available at Richard’s Market. Flavor options include chocolate mousse, guava chiffon and passion fruit chiffon. Cakes include a customized icing message. Orders must be placed at least 48 hours ahead of time and may be called in at 565-3780 or emailed to

Bulk Ice

Keeping your food and drinks fresh and cold is also important. Contact Steve Lichter the Ice Guy to fill your coolers to the brim. Lichter may be reached at 559-0101.

5. Decorations & Party Favors

Although many of the grocery stores on Lanai carry some decorations and favors, ordering these items online from the Oriental Trading Company or Amazon is a cost effective way to enhance your party’s theme.

Etsy is another popular website that allows you to shop directly from artists’ and designers’ online stores. Etsy has a wide selection of party favors and decorations, and you can work directly with sellers to customize your order.

Interested in decorating with balloons? You can order custom or bulk balloons online and get them filled at the Lanai Plantation Store (the gas station) for a $1.10 per balloon.

6. Entertainment

The easiest option for entertainment is music played over speakers. The best set up is four or more speakers, spread out and set at a lower volume. No one wants to stand next to a single blaring speaker. If your speakers are set up outside, turn them toward the side of the house – you can turn the volume up a little louder here and the sound will spread out nicely.

Looking to add some live entertainment to your party? Local options on Lanai include crowd favorites like the Jawaiian band, Red Krown; Pierce Myer’s band, Fat Fingers; one of the hula halau; or the Tahitian dance group, Tamatea Nui. Local DJs Issac Zablan and Eric Amby are also available to mix and jam your favorite beats.

Contact Information:

  • Red Krown, Ricky Sanches Jr. 649-8914
  • Tamatea Nui: Chantell Shilling 559-0487
  • Pierce Myers: 649-0489
  • DJ Issac Zablan: 559-0309
  • DJ Eric Amby: 559-6731
  • Pidgen City – Charlie Palumbo & Band: 563-0036
  • Mahina Romero: 559-0078

Remember to stick to your budget, relax, and enjoy your party!

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