Live music, book reading, childrens activities on tap for Saturday

What: Aloha Days, a free celebration of community and fundraiser for the Aloha Community Library

When: Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Bales Market Place & Thriftway store plaza, 17675 S.W. Farmington Road, Aloha

Offerings: Book sale to benefit library, canned-food drive, blues-based music from Madman Sam, Southern-style food, family story time, henna and face painting

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by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Janel Josephson, author of the recently released book 'Aloha-Reedville: Images of America,' is helping to organize Saturday's re-ignited Aloha Days event.

Photos in Janel Josephson's new book, "Aloha-Reedville: Images of America," show children and teenagers in 1956, and friends of the American Legion Post 104 in 1980, sharing their community pride while riding on parade floats in the Aloha Days Parade.

The onetime-annual event lost its momentum over the years, but Josephson and a handful of Aloha-based friends hope a free, family-oriented celebration on Saturday will help kick-start a new era of community awareness to live up to the good feelings depicted in the vintage SUBMITTED PHOTO - Art Bullis, a longtime Beaverton resident and member of the Cascade Blues Association, is working with others to make Aloha Days something to remember.

A fundraiser for the Aloha Community Library Association, Aloha Days will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside the Bales Market Place & Thriftway store, 17675 S.W. Farmington Road. The celebration is anchored by the association's second annual book sale in the former Blockbuster video building, but also will feature live music from 2 to 4 p.m. courtesy of Madman Sam, who plays traditional, Mississippi Delta-style blues. Other offerings will include Southern-style food from Momma's Kitchen Catering, family story time in Spanish, the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District's Nature Mobile, face painting and a henna artist.

The Kids Zone, a children's arts and crafts area in the library, will launch a 12-month program funded by what Josephson calls a "mini grant" from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, named for the noted children's author and illustrator. A reading of Keats' book, "Whistle for Willy," will mark the occasion.

The Tualatin Valley Gleaners will stage a canned food drive to help the less fortunate. They suggest a donation of three cans of food. The Tualatin Valley Water District and planners behind the Aloha-Reedville study also will be on hand to educate community members about future plans, with the latter displaying an 18-square-foot aerial map of the area.

Josephson is collaborating with Julia Corkett, the Aloha Community Library's volunteer director, and Art Bullis, a longtime member of the Beaverton Historical Society, to develop the event. Working on her book, which Arcadia Publishing released in early July, inspired Josephson to re-ignite the earlier Aloha Days spirit she picked up from longtime residents and the photographs they shared.

"Aloha Days was a previous event that occurred in Aloha at various times," she says. "It got started in the 1950s, but it must've died out. Different people tried to revive it at various times. I sometimes hear residents say, 'Oh, yes!' So, people remember it fondly."

Aloha resident Becky Jarvis created an impetus for the event with last year's book sale to benefit the Aloha Community Library, which was established last September in the building just west of the Bales Market Place & Thriftway. Proceeds from the book sale go back into the fledgling learning center.

"She kind of got it going last year," Josephson says of Jarvis. "We wanted to do it again. We expanded it this year to include artisan-crafted items."

Businesses such as Jan's Paperbacks, Curves of Aloha, Sun Connections Travel & Cruises and Costco, along with the Aloha Business Association, have signed on as vendors and sponsors for this year's festivities. The Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, which plans to take over the former Bally's Total Fitness building at 17800 S.W. Kinnaman Road, also is playing a role in the event.

"Last year wasn't really a revival of Aloha Days. This has jelled more this year," says Josephson, who will be on hand from 1 to 2 p.m. to sign her photo-based book. "We've added more events and entertainment.

"We thought it was good timing," she adds of the weeks before school commences. "We're raising awareness of the library and trying to involve more people in our library community. We're just trying to create a place and an event where people can get together and have a good time."

Bullis, a longtime Beaverton resident and member of the Cascade Blues Association, is working with Josephson and the others to make Aloha Days something to remember. With all the activities going on this summer in Portland, Beaverton and Hillsboro, he feels it's time to make something happen in the "island" that is Aloha.

"Aloha is basically an island in unincorporated Washington County. There isn't really anything special going on," he says. "So we thought we needed to have something to celebrate being Aloha. This will give merchants a chance to bring something into Aloha rather than out of Aloha."

Depending on how things go on Saturday, Aloha Days could again become an annual summer celebration for the community.

"If this gets off on the right note, this could end up as a long-term festival," says Bullis, whose father served as superintendent of the former Beaverton Union School District. "It's bringing the spirit back home to the people and the residents in the community."

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