Friends in Malalo Places

In addition to the strong culture and spirit of Native Hawaiians, Hawaii is also a melting pot of South Pacific cultures. The 20th annual Arizona Aloha Festival brings some of that island style to downtown Tempe on Saturday, March 8.

With three different stages for performances, you’re just as likely to catch energetic Samoan dances or Tahitian drumming as you are to see ancient and modern takes on the hula and slack-key guitar. Other attractions include storytelling, Aunty Aloha’s Ukulele Corner, and crafts for keiki and adults alike. Fest food is so ono with the traditional plate lunch and popular island snacks like umami-conjuring spam musubi, featuring the infamous canned meat atop a bed of rice and wrapped in seaweed.

The Arizona Aloha Festival breezes through Tempe Beach Park, 80 West Rio Salado Parkway, through Sunday, March 9. Admission is free, and hours for both days are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more info, visit

Sat., March 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., March 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2014
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Jose Gonzalez