Alohafest Toronto

Alohafest Toronto – The spirit of Aloha

Understanding Aloha

Aloha (hello or goodbye), is a Hawaiian word but more than a word, it is a symbol. While preparing for alohafest Toronto, I was very excited to discover the true meaning and essence of aloha. I found out that aloha is a unique way of living. It is treating ourselves and others with love and respect. It is living the spirit of aloha, the secret to a fulfilled life.

Alohafest Toronto

Aloha doesn’t mean just one thing, it means:

  • Hello, goodbye, love, affection, peace, sympathy, pity, mercy, kindness and compassion.
  • The “presence of breath” or the “breath of life”.
  • Mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.

The Aloha spirit law became official in Hawaii in 1986.

Alohafest Toronto

Alohafest Toronto 2018

Aloha festivals or alohafests are an annual cultural celebration that takes place in Hawaii throughout the month of September. The main celebration takes place on the island of Oahu. Alohafests are also celebrated in some major cities in North America but on a much smaller scale, e.g Sacramento, Arizona, Toronto.

Alohafest Toronto
Grey Leaf Co. Handmade concrete pots.

The 4th edition of Alohafest Toronto hosted by Halau Hula I Ka La (Hula school in the sun), was on Saturday, July 28, 2018. It took place at the Mel Lastman Square Toronto from 11 am to 7 pm. The mission is to educate the Greater Toronto community about the Aloha Spirit by showcasing Polynesian culture, art and dance.

Alohafest Toronto
Halau hula I Kala- Showcasing and promoting Hawaiian culture through dance, lectures, workshops etc.

The weather was mild ranging in the 20s (deg. C), not too sunny with a little drizzle at some point. There were many colourful cultural acts that entertained the audience at the amphitheatre, there was also a children’s area with kids doing different types of craft and getting their faces painted.

Alohafest Toronto
Crazy plant Lady. Potted plants, planter and plant accessories

Then there were the vendors who sold craft, food, drinks, clothing etc. I made the rounds but of course, I drifted to the food and drink vendors and remained there. They offered both unique Hawaiian food and some local favourites.

Of note was Liko’s Hawaiian barbecue, whose Spam Musubi seemed to be a hit with a lot of people judging by the line up in front of the stall.

Some Alohafest Toronto Food Vendors

My daughter and I bought Liko’s lunch plate which included barbecue beef short ribs, Kalua pork, rice and mac salad. It was hearty and very tasty. Also barbecue pork and Chicken kebabs with spring roll, then we each had coconut water and pineapple juice from Tropic Love Concession’s “Tropic love drink from a fruit”. All of them were awesome.

Some of our haul from Alohafest Toronto 2018

Alohafest Toronto was a pleasurable experience and the first of more festivals I attended in summer 2018.

Aloha nui loa


If you enjoyed my journey to Alohafest Toronto 2018, check out my other Food Treks, Taste Of the Middle East, Toronto 2018, Vegfest St. John’s NLKothu fest Toronto 2018, Sri Lankan Kothu Roti and St john’s farmers market.

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