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Celebration of Pacific Islanders at the Pure Aloha Festival | Arts & Culture

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Celebration of Pacific Islanders at the Pure Aloha Festival
Arts & Culture
Celebration of Pacific Islanders at the Pure Aloha Festival

A celebration of Hawaii is going on now at the Silverton Casino.

The 11th annual Pure Aloha Festival started Thursday and runs through Sunday night. The festival features traditional Pacific Islander entertainment, food and vendors along with carnival rides and games. There are even special concerts from island performers.

Pure Aloha Festival highlights the growing community of Pacific Islanders that call Las Vegas home. Fau Taylor set up her booth at the festival Friday. She has been part of the festival for seven years.

"When we come here everybody is like family," Taylor said.

Tickets are $7 for adults. Tickets for seniors 55 years and older, military members and children 5 to 10 years old are $5.

The festival is open until 11 p.m. Friday. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

The festival also brings in tourist from Hawaii. Las Vegas is a popular destination for tourist from the Pacific Islands. There are restaurants, shopping areas and even hotels that cater just to that section of the market. Boyd Gaming's California Hotel and Casino says a majority of people that stay there are Hawaiian.

"The food, the motif, the slot machines, the signage around the building, everything we try to do is make Hawaii people feel right at home," said John Repetti, Boyd Gaming’s senior vice director of operations for downtown properties and vacations Hawaii.

Repetti says that 60 percent of the company’s downtown hotel rooms are filled with people from Hawaii. That is 300,000 room nights per year. Boyd Gaming even charters its own flights from Las Vegas to Hawaii.

Another Hawaiian festival is the 15th annual Lei Day Fest, which is set for May 5 and 6 at the California Hotel and Casino.

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