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The Aloha Bears are the Embodiment of the Aloha Spirit

If there was ever a place for a Bear to be a Bear, it’s Hawaii.

The annual Lei-a-Bear weekend hosted by the Aloha Bears of Honolulu is all about the Aloha Spirit, where Lovely Hula Bear Hands of all types are ready to give you a big bear hug.  Everywhere.  Anywhere. All the time.

I had the golden opportunity to travel there with my friend Daniel Murphy long before all the current holiday travel nightmares got started, and we met some wonderful men who made us feel very welcome. We got a full taste of the Aloha Spirit in so many shapes and forms, and men, all I can say is, you gotta go check it out!

One of the host bars of the event is Bacchus Waikiki, where owner David Barker and his handsome staff welcomed everyone for an evening of Aloha to kickoff Lei-A-Bear Weekend.  As you can see from the photos, it was a fun and friendly crowd, the perfect way to kick off a beautiful weekend.

Admittedly, I spent a lot of my time on the beach, but the Aloha Bears made sure there was plenty to do for those of us who didn’t know much about what the Hawaiian Islands (8 in total, 5 main islands) had to offer. Like the excursion they set up to Secret Island, for instance, which is a private area you can rent on the island of Oahu (where Honolulu is). The excursion was a blast! Bears frolicking.  Bears playing volleyball.  Bears being Bears while drinking beer and even getting a short boat ride to see the truly intoxicating waters of Blue Hawaii – just magical!

On Sunday, we enjoyed the monthly Booze Cruise of Waikiki.  The rain was a drag, but as you can see, that did not stop the fun. There’s something about the Aloha Spirit that keeps the party – and the kindness – going, no matter what Mother Nature and Father Time brings.

The Farewell Picnic on Fort DeRussy Beach was nice and simple with just sodas, cooked weenies, perfect island weather and plenty of Bear comradery. It was sad of course to have this amazing experience come to an end, but Aloha doesn’t mean goodbye, after all, it simply means ‘till me meet again’. And trust me, the Aloha Bears would love nothing more than for y’all to come to Honolulu for a visit and to get lei’d.

You see, the Aloha Bears are truly a multi-cultural, multi-generational group of men who genuinely enjoy each other and who truly embrace the Aloha Spirit of brotherly love and kindness. The islands really aren’t that big so if you are going to get along and live in harmony, you need to come with an open heart and open mind to truly enjoy all that they have to offer.

Looking back, I met some wonderful men during my time in Hawaii: Jack, Ben, Ed, Randy, Dean, Javon, DJ, Ryan, Dennis, Nathan, Kanoa, Dean, Allan, Norm, Andrew …….. (and yes, I know that does sound a bit like Blanche Deveraux reading from her address book!).  Also, special thanks to Aloha Bears photographer Camilo Menjivar, who truly captured the spirit of everything that happened that weekend.

So, bears, if you can, I would encourage everyone to get on a plane and get out there! Dates for next year’s Lei-a-Bear weekend will be May 23-27, 2024.   

No grass skirt or coconut bra necessary. 

Follow the Aloha Bears on Facebook and Instagram

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