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Aloha Festival in Napa Valley

Artist Lureen Cascara helps Koa Kaeka Baptista, 9, with his painting while Michelle Florido helps her son Tristan, 3, and Corinne Ebias, 9, with their painting during the Aloha Festival at the Napa Valley Expo on Saturday. [Maria Sestet, Napa Valley Register]

For some, the Napa Valley Aloha Festival is just a fun thing to do over the weekend, but for others, attendance is almost mandatory.

“It’s the experience of home,” said Song Pisimata. “To me, it’s like a big family reunion.”

Pisimata lives in Concord now, but he grew up in American Samoa.

Attending Aloha festivals is “about the closest thing to home” and pretty much the only way to get authentic food and music, he said. There’s a variety of food available from Samoa, Hawaii and the Philippines. “It’s like a potluck,” he said.

“It’s one of those events where you forget about the price because you just enjoy it so much,” he added.

Admission to the event, which is in its 10th year, is free. Parking is also complimentary.

This year’s Aloha Festival features performances by Kawika Kahiapo and Kawika Alfiche & Halau ‘O Keikiali’i as well as several cultural presenters and about 60 vendors.

The Aloha Festival continues Sunday at the Napa Valley Expo, 575 Third St., Napa, inside and behind Chardonnay Hall, from 9:45 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Read more at Napa Valley Register