Ventura Aloha Festival and Car Show
By Robert Bernstein
We ventured to Ventura over Labor Day weekend for a double-header: The Aloha Festival and the Ventura Nationals Car Show.
Here are all my photos and videos!
First, we had to get to Ventura and it was a challenge with this truck rollover crash blocking Highway 101
We got very lucky because I had checked Mr. Google (Google Maps) before heading out and he said to exit onto Highway 1 at exit 78. That allowed us to bypass the worst of it. But our return travels in the afternoon were almost as bad and taking side routes did not help. Who else wants good rail service as civilized countries have? The Aloha Festival was held at Surfer's Point/Promenade Park and we passed this mural on the way:
Even without the Aloha Festival the park, beach and surfers are all worth visiting, including some rock art:
The Ventura Bicycle Hub was running a bike valet parking service and explaining their other services. They are duplicating what Bici Centro/SBBIKE does in Santa Barbara: Offering kids a way to earn a bike by learning to fix bikes.
Our first stop was for food and there were many tropical choices
We did the Thai noodle combinations which were tasty, quick and affordable
Vincent Zaldivar was demonstrating his innovative Coco Taps and selling tapped coconuts for drinking coconut water. He was also playing ukulele and singing. He caught my attention when he sang about being a Mexican Jew!
Here my wife Merlie posed with him and we enjoyed one of the tapped coconuts. Delicious!
This mother and baby sat with us as her husband went off to get food for them
Nearby I ran into some familiar people Lloyd and Lisa Wyckoff who run Anacapa Ukulele in Ventura.
Here they were looking a bit different last October at the Carpinteria Day of the Dead festivities!
But the main attraction was yet to come on the main stage with Hawaiian and Tahitian dancing. As the crowd waited for the show to begin...
...children made bubbles and played on the lawn
And then came the main event for us: Dancers of the Aloha Hula Dance Studio, directed by Laua'e Pedersen. First up: The Lehua Class:
Next up were the children (keiki in Hawaiian)
These young ladies of the Hinano Class did some skillful dances, too!
Then came the Aparima Motu Uta Tahitian Dance in more modest outfits
These dancers were also in more modest garb
Next, the Tiare Class performed an impressively high energy Tahitian dance
These performers posed before starting their Aparima Tiare Opuhi e Tahitian Dance
And here was their dance!
The beautiful Closing Ote'a was performed by the Tiare and Lehua Class
We wandered the rest of the festival and beach area. You may recognize this from State Street!
I was happy to get some lightly used classic Aloha shirts from these people who were raising money for an innovative cat adoption center
This vendor was selling plumeria plants and flowers
There was some Tiki art for sale
We saw more surfers
And there were interesting people watching. Her top had an amusing question!
By coincidence, the Ventura Nationals Car Show was happening at the same time at the Ventura Fairgrounds. Just a ten minute walk across the vast parking lot. The parking lot had some intriguing vehicles and license plates, too!
Then we went on in
I enjoyed the diversity of vehicles, including those that were not yet restored
But many were restored to conditions that went beyond new, with creative paint jobs and modifications
When I was a child we had a used 1955 Plymouth Belvedere with the same paint job as this classic 1950s Chevy
This 1939 Chevrolet Master Deluxe owned by Al Perez was my favorite of the show!
There were also some motorcycles
And some funny toys
And plenty of interesting people watching!
This colorful lady was selling pinup art
And there were live bands and dancers
But mostly lots of cars spread over a large area
We enjoyed watching this throaty classic Chevrolet drive off!