Annual Hukilau in South Florida moves from June to April

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The annual gathering of the Tiki tribe in Fort Lauderdale, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary, will be moving to April for its 2012 edition. It had been held in early June for the past five years.

Los Straitjackets at the Bahia Cabana in Fort Lauderdale during Hukilau 2009. (Photo by Go11Media.com)

Los Straitjackets at the Bahia Cabana in Fort Lauderdale during Hukilau 2009. (Photo by Go11Media.com)

“The Hukilau has moved to April in order to accommodate more outdoor activities at a cooler time of year and to give fans more time between all the great Tiki events out there,” said co-founder and longtime producer/organizer Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White.

White has posted the 2012 dates as April 19-22. Final plans have yet to be announced, but look for more events taking place at The Mai-Kai, the legendary Polynesian restaurant that has been the centerpiece of The Hukilau since it moved from Atlanta in 2003.

Plans also call for a return to the Bahia Cabana at the south end of Fort Lauderdale Beach, which has been the longtime hotel of choice for Hukilau revelers. Its poolside stage has been host to a great lineup of retro-inspired bands, such as Los Straitjackets, The Woggles, and Tikiyaki Orchestra.

Look for some major changes when the official announcement is made. A new host hotel has been confirmed and a more streamlined, pocketbook-friendly schedule will be emphasized. Good news for locals and those who may still be suffering through the economic crunch.

The Mai-Kai's Polynesian Islander Revue performs during The Hukilau in June 2010. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Mai-Kai's Polynesian Islander Revue performs during The Hukilau in June 2010. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

Over its 10 years, The Hukilau has seen its ups and downs but really hit its stride in 2007. Over the past five years it has attracted thousands of Tiki and retro culture enthusiasts from around the world with its wide assortment of vendors, artists and entertainers.

May through August is typically the peak time for events, including Tiki Oasis and Tiki Caliente in California, and Luau at the Lake in New York. The move to April should separate The Hukilau from the summertime circuit.

The Hukilau’s April dates fall during the annual Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, so rum lovers may want to make plans to hit both events. Just be sure to give your liver ample time to prepare.

After debuting in 2002 in Atlanta, The Hukilau has held nine of its 10 events at The Mai-Kai and Fort Lauderdale beachside hotels. The 2003 edition was held in June, but in 2004 a move was made to September. Nearly devastated by Hurricane Jeanne, the event was switched to October in 2005 and 2006. In 2007, The Hukilau moved back to June, where it remained through 2011.

Official sites: TheHukilau.com | Facebook | Flickr | Go11Media photo galleries
The Mai-Kai | Bahia Cabana Beach Resort

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
This entry was posted in 2012, Events, History, History, Hukilau, Mai-Kai, South Florida and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Annual Hukilau in South Florida moves from June to April

  1. Monica bohatch says:

    This will be my first event. I have been frequenting Mai Kai for 35 years and am ready for getting more involved. Thank you for keeping the Mai Kai a staple in my community. I adore it there.

  2. This year will be my first attending the Hukilau. I can’t wait! April is a great time for me. I can escape the cold spring up in Wisconsin!

  3. Keep checking back to The Atomic Grog for all the latest updates and exclusive news on The Hukilau. Mahalo!

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