About 200 people enjoyed a pulled Kalua pork luau at the Aloha Festival on Saturday night. The meal was followed by dancers from Hokulea Ohana from Redmond.
Another 400 people attended the festival earlier in the day.
The numbers were much lower than the organizers in the Lebanon Community Foundation hoped, due to competition from other events held over the weekend. Nevertheless, said Festival chair Jill Ingalls, people came from all over the valley.
The Hokulea Ohana dancers and drummers are led by Joseph and Novelen Tavita, who have been teaching Polynesian dancing and drumming in Central Oregon for 20 years. Their operation is family-oriented — ohana means family, said Novelen Tavita. Those who performed at the festival ranged in age from 3 to 60. The biggest applause of the evening went to 5-year-old Sammie Beal.
Earlier in the day, ukulele classes were taught by Craig Chee of Eugene and Dan McLucas of Lebanon.
McLucas is leading the effort to teach ukulele classes in Lebanon schools. Last year, classes were taught at Hamilton Creek. Three more schools have signed on for this year, he said. McLucas is taking over the project from retired teacher Terry Deacon, who initiated the Aloha Festival and ukulele classes a year ago.
Dan’s wife, Linda, said the ukulele is a nice instrument. “I’ve been musically challenged all my life. If I can do it anyone can,” she said.
In the afternoon, dancers taught by Teharu and Jeanne, Show Motion, performed Polynesian dances and drumming. Teharu is from Tahiti, but they live and teach in Lebanon.
Vendors at the event included Peruvian Arts and Crafts, owned by Tina Perez of Lebanon; Helping Parents Hearts Heal, a local nonprofit that supports parents who have experienced stillbirth, miscarriage and infant death; and Iwalei Treasures, owned by Eleanor “Auntie Ella” and Wayne Stewart of Oregon City.
Oregon Beverage Services operated a beer garden. Jill Ingalls, chair of the event, said the company has an OLCC license and all the necessary equipment.