As the air cools slightly and the sun drifts toward Waianae on Wednesdays in the summer, the zoo closes down for five minutes.
After those five minutes, the gates reopen and the zoo lawn is transformed into a picnic ground, a play field and an amphitheater.
Wednesday night, the zoo becomes the Wildest Show.
Every Wednesday evening, we have a local band come and perform and for only a $3 donation, people can come and spend some time after-hours hanging out on the lawn and listening to everything from 70s rock to alternative to kids playing ukuleles. There’s a raffle (win your own ukulele!) and food (chicken teriyaki and spam musubi!) and usually a guided tour (meet the komodo dragons!) and it’s all over by 7pm, but for a couple of hours a thousand people are on the lawn, dancing and smiling and the ukulele music drifts around them.
Me? I’m a ticket taker and raffle drawing runner. I do get my moment of fame when I take the raffle boxes onto the stage near the end, but it really is just a moment. Vanna White, I am not. But it’s fun anyway.