Sure kids, there are dozens of great Tiki events taking place all around the country (and the world), but when it comes to the biggest in the 48 states, none compare to the BIG THREE: The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale Floirda, Tiki Oasis in San Diego California, and Ohana Luau at the Lake in Lake George New York.
Since I live 15 minutes away from Fort Lauderdale Beach, going to The Hukilau is as easy as sipping a Mai Tai under a palm tree. Four days of Tiki themed parties, drinks, films, art, dining and shows will make you feel like you’re in the South Pacific. And of course, the world famous Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant & Tiki Bar (The original from 1956) is included as the main attraction on Saturday night, featuring their Polynesian fire dancers and (what I think is) the best PolyPop dining outside of Hawaii.
Entertainment at the Hukilau this year includes King Kukulele, The Woggles, Neanderthals, Sweet Hollywaiians, Intoxicators!, Stolen Idols, The Bikini Beachcombers, Walk The Plank, Elena –Hula Hooper Extraordinaire!, Candy Del Rio, Reverend Valentine and South Florida’s own Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid.
In between the drinks, music and dancing will be specials guests: Shag – Josh Agle, a book signing by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Lu Vickers – The History of Weeki Wachee, DVD of Tiki WORLD PREMIERE – Paradise Lost, Duda Leit Tikimentary – In Search of the Lost Paradise, Art from Harold Golen Gallery of Miami, and Sarong-O-Rama fashion show with Tiki Bree & Sandra Carr. Add to that the room crawl, Tiki Treasure Bazaar and the Master Mixologist Cocktail Challenge and you’ve got one hell of swingin’ Tiki bar party! We’ll be there for the big event on Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night for dinner and the Polynesian show at the Mai Kai.
Luau at the Lake takes place each year in one of my favorite vacation spots, Lake George, New York at the fantabulous Tiki Motor Inn, a throwback to the golden years of Poly Pop. Lake George Village itself has a very ’50s vibe to it, and it’s not unusual to catch a ’57 Chevy or ’50 Merc cruising the strip on a Saturday night. This year’s Ohana features some great music from Granite Tiki, Bamboo Saxotica, 9th Wave, The Ghosts, Pablus, Waitiki, Fisherman, Jimmy Virani, Francis LLacuna and more.
Room crawls and outdoor movies viewable from the pool add to the fun. There’s also going to be a cocktail contest, a mini golf tournament and the Luau Under The Stars…featuring a pig roast, traditional hula and the fire knife dance. And of course there will be a section of Tikirific vendors to grab some hip souvenirs from!
And Last but certainly not least…
San Diego, California
According to the people who run Tiki Oasis, Tiki Oasis is “the largest and longest running Tiki Event on planet earth.” Here at Tiki Lounge Talk we have no reason to doubt the authenticity of that statement. One of the longest running Tiki parties, Tiki Oasis is set in the heart of what most people consider the home of the Tiki Culture rebirth, Southern California. (Of course some of us never noticed a rebirth because we’ve been swiggin’ rum at the Tiki bar all our lives)
Entertainment is wall to wall featuring King Kukulele, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, APE, The Martini Kings, Mimi Le Meaux, Clouseaux, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, The Maikai Gents, Lushy, Tana the Tattooed Lady, Project: Pimento, The Hula Girls, Lady Borgia, Thee Swank Bastards, Megan Mayhem, Violetta Beretta and Sultry Savage Burlesque, and Martin Cate. The schedule hasn’t been posted on the website yet, so it’s a sure bet there will be more stuff added to the event.
The bad news: These events are almost sold out for 2010. Rooms are totally booked and the goodies like commemorative Tiki Mugs are either gone or almost gone. So why am I posting this now? So you don’t forget to plan for next year, that’s why.
No kidding kids, if you can’t get into one of these events this year, start getting the luggage & cab fare together for next year. These things sell out QUICK! In fact, the hotel rooms at Bahia Cabana (the host hotel for The Hukilau) sold out about a week after they announced it, if I remember right. So put it on the books, jump in your jalopy and make tracks!
-Tiki Chris reporting from the cabana on the beach, under the hot Florida sun.
Tiki Lounge Talk is the place where mellow Tikiphiles meet swingin’ kats and kittens. Pull up a cocktail, lay a Les Baxter platter on the hi-fi and get into Retro & Tiki Culture and swing with kool kids! Ker-razy, man!