Dancers prepared near a trailer, community leaders mingled, and an authentic Hawai’ian band’s chords rang through the lakeside at the Ultimate Luau 2021 at Lake Arlington on Oct. 29. 

“You hate it when you grow up, but when you come out here, you’re like, ‘Holy crap, why did I move?’” performer Patrick Sablan, 35, said. “Imagine white, sandy beaches, just perfect weather, perfect everything all day every day.”

Sablan, a fire twirler for Hawaiian Drums of Tahiti Revue Tropical Production, grew up on the islands but now lives in Houston. He has always kept in touch with his Polynesian culture, he added.

He plans to return to the islands at some point with his wife and four kids. 
The luau, or the equivalent to a celebration ceremony in Polynesian culture, was organized by Living Waters Park. Living Waters Park, an economic development-focused organization, has plans to build a waterside marina and entertainment venue to stimulate community development in East Fort Worth.

For more on the plans, please see upcoming coverage in the Fort Worth Report.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...

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