“Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi—Love One Another” is the theme for the 10th annual Napa Valley Aloha Festival taking place on Saturday, Sept. 16 and Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Napa Valley Expo.
Admission and parking are free for the festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The Manaleo Hawaiian Cultural Foundation hosted the first Napa Valley Aloha Festival in September 2007 as a single-day of cultural celebration of Hawai’i’s unique cultural traditions with music and dance. Now in its 10th year, the continues to celebrate the rich history and traditions of the Hawaiian culture through art, cuisine, dance and music. In 2016, more than 10,000 attended the Napa festival.
“This year marks a very special anniversary for us,” said Jessica Luthi, Napa Valley Aloha Festival chairwoman. “And we look forward to sharing the Spirit of Aloha and Hawaiian culture in the Napa Valley for many years to come.
The entertainment lineup features Hawaii and Bay Area groups and musicians including Grammy and six-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winner, Kawika Kahiapo of Waimanalo, California, and Faith Ako & Friends from Rohnert Park, among others.
The festival will also have several local hālau hula (dance groups) on stage, including Kawika Alfiche and Halau `O Keikiali`i from South San Francisco and O Ka Hale Lokelani from Martinez.
Visitors to the festival will also find vendors selling Hawaiian-themed and authentic artwork, crafts, jewelry, and food. More than 40 vendors are expected this year with more being added in the days before the festival.
In addition to on-stage entertainment, the festival will have a Hawaiian cultural area showcasing cultural artists demonstrating lei making, quilting, feather crafts, painting, tattoos and outrigger canoes.
The festival will also be featuring a series of free workshops on both days ranging from hula to ukulele for both children and adults. Workshops begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday and include Keiki (kids’) Hula, Hot Hula Fitness, and Beginner Ukulele.
The festival and the Napa Valley Food Bank are setting up non-perishable food donation bins at the festival entrances to help the food bank collect food for its programs in the Napa Valley.
The Manaleo Hawaiian Cultural Foundation will use proceeds from the festival to host events promoting and sharing Hawaiian culture with the public and providing educational scholarships to college students in need.
“The support we receive allows us to share our values and traditions here in Northern California,” said Donny Helmick, the foundation’s board vice president and chairman of the volunteer committee for the festival.
The foundation’s primary mission is to “educate, regenerate, preserve and perpetuate the culture of the native Hawaiian people and our Kūpuna (elders) through music, dance, arts and ‘ōlelo (language),” said Helmick.
The two-day event allows the foundation to offer a more enriching wealth of Hawaiian art and cultural experiences for visitors, including food, cultural exhibits, a diverse entertainment lineup and a series of workshops.