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.
“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.
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.