HONOLULU (KHON2) — 4 Days of Aloha returned to Vancouver, Washington, on Thursday, July 21, kicking off with a wide range of classes from traditional oli to hula auana to lei making, poi pounding and more. The 4-day festival celebrates the Hawaiian arts and culture through various events, and serves as a benefit for Ke Kukui Foundation. The nonprofit continues to rebuild its cultural programs after the effects of the pandemic.
“I can’t believe we are celebrating 20 years. I can’t think of another word other than ‘blessed,'” said Kaloku Holt, Executive Director of Ke Kukui Foundation and lead hula instructor for Kaleinani o Ke Kukui. “To feel my mom’s spirit of aloha, still here with us today, still bringing so much happiness to the community… I couldn’t be more humbled to take on this kuleana to continue her legacy.”
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Holt was born and raised in Kalihi and has been participating in the cultural performing arts for many years. He’s spent time along the West Coast, Hawaii and Japan as a performer and recording artist. His hula influence comes from both his late mother Deva Yamashiro of Kaleinani O Ke Kukui and aunty Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine — they founded what originally was a 3-day summer camp in 2002.
“Over the last two decades, it has grown to a 4-day festival that fills Esther Short Park with thousands of people from all over,” said Holt. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to make sure the Hawaiian culture is alive in our community here where hundreds to thousands of Native Hawaiians have relocated to.”
In 2019, Holt added the fourth day to the festival, completing the weekend as “4 Days of Aloha.” That year saw a record attendance of over 40,000 guests. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Last year, they were able to hold the 4-day event again and were the only in-person festival that summer in Vancouver.
4 Days of Aloha features hula and craft workshops, pāʻina, concert in the park, hōʻike, multi-cultural celebration and Aloha Fun Run. This year, over 55 vendors from Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona and California will fill the park along with performers such as Nathan Aweau, Bruddah Waltah and Kapena.
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“I can’t mahalo our community enough for the support and aloha they have shown Ke Kukui Foundation over the last two decades,” said Holt. “We appreciate the support as all proceeds go towards rebuilding our cultural programs here.”