Information has been leaking out for months via Facebook but it’s finally now official: TheHukilau.com has launched for 2012 with a list of activities and info, ticket prices and online ordering. The Atomic Grog is happy to present some exclusive, additional details.
The biggest news for the April 19-22 Polynesian Pop extravaganza: A new host hotel, even more events at The Mai-Kai, and a special Beachbum Berry cocktail symposium. While a new Web designer puts the finishing touches on the 2012 site, Hukilau producer/organizer Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White filled us in on some of the details:
New host hotel: The beachside Best Western Oceanside Inn will offer festival attendees a more affordable and intimate experience, Tiki Kiliki says. It’s located just south of The Hukilau’s longtime party central, the Bahia Cabana Beach Resort. You can make reservations at both hotels now by calling the phone numbers listed on TheHukilau.com. To get the best rooms at special group rates, you must call these numbers now instead of making reservations online.
More Mai-Kai: The people spoke and Tiki Kiliki listened. Due to popular demand, she says, more activities will be centered at the 55-year-old Fort Lauderdale landmark restaurant, including symposiums, happy hours and late night parties. This is in addition to the event’s centerpiece, the Saturday night main event featuring live bands all night long and two dinner shows starring The Mai-Kai’s vintage South Seas stage show.
The Bum is back: The author of five books (with a sixth in the works) on tropical mixology and its rich history, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has long been one of the most in-demand speakers in the Tiki festival circuit. He’s made more appearances at The Hukilau than anywhere else, and for 2012 he’ll present “Revenge of the Zombie,” at which he’ll dig deep into the archives to trace the development of one of history’s most infamous cocktail from the 1930s to the present.
More new announcements: Since our last post in September on all the great bands scheduled for Hukilau 2012, many new features have been added:
* Hukilau co-founder Tim “Swanky” Glazner will be presenting a symposium on the history of The Mai-Kai.
* The symposium by Paul Roe of Britishink Tattoos has been firmed up, with the intriguing title “Ta-ta-u – The Mark of Civilization.”
* Additional entertainers have been booked, including: acclaimed dancer Angie Pontani of the Pontani Sisters; and solo performances by Pablus of The Crazed Mugs. There will also likely be a gathering at the nearby Yankee Clipper’s legendary Wreck Bar for a performance by Marina the Mermaid and friends.
* And the most recent confirmation: Tiki Diablo will design, sculpt and produce The Hukilau’s 2012 souvenir mug.
Tiki Kiliki helped us map out a a day-by-day breakdown and filled us in on more details of the activities as they now stand. Check back here at The Atomic Grog and TheHukilau.com for more official announcements. And the best place to get the latest scoop first is Facebook, where you’ll find an official Hukilau page and group. Please note that some of these dates and times are tentative, so monitor all of the above sources for the official schedule.
Live music: Bands will be performing daily at all the venues. Already announced are headliners The Martian Denny Orchestra plus The Intoxicators, The Stolen Idols, and Gold Dust Lounge. For more on the bands, check out our previous post.
THURSDAY, APRIL 19
Vendor Preview Party and Mai-Kai After Party: The Best Western Oceanside gets its official christening by the Hukilau faithful as the party starts poolside and at the various vendor areas. More info will be announced soon on those exact locations, but plans include a Tiki takover of the entire hotel so prepare for a totally immersive experience. Later in the evening, transportation will be provided to The Mai-Kai for the first of several late-night parties. Happy hour prices and live music are distinct possibilities.
FRIDAY, APRIL 20
Tiki Treasures Bazaar Extravaganza and Polypop Poolside Performances: The day starts early at the Best Western as all the vendors open their booths featuring an amazing array of vintage and eclectic items. Click here to see the vendors who attended Hukilau 2011. Meanwhile, the pool area will host entertainment guaranteed to “spread aloha” to everyone in attendance.
Beachbum Berry’s Revenge of the Zombie: The action moves to The Mai-Kai for an exclusive afternoon of Hukilau-only events at everyone’s favorite Tiki temple. Jeff Berry’s latest symposium promises to be a fascinating look at the history of one of the most famous – and nearly forgotten – tropical drinks, the Zombie. Attendees will be able to sample various versions of the famous cocktail and, of course, partake in The Mai-Kai’s legendary menu as well.
Swanky’s Mai-Kai Symposium: A fascinating look at one of the most amazing restaurants in the world, the oldest thriving original Tiki palace on earth. Founded in 1956 by the Thornton brothers, The Mai-Kai is still operated by their family with the same dedication and reverence. The Thorntons took their cue (sometimes exactly) from Don the Beachcomber, adding their own special flair. Tim “Swanky” Glazner takes us on a journey from the early days to the present with a few surprises and insights. Look for more info soon on this Hukilau exclusive.
Friday night’s Main Event at the Bahia Cabana: The action moves back to Fort Lauderdale Beach for poolside performances by a full lineup of bands, headlined by The Martian Denny Orchestra and special guest Angie Pontani. Plans are also in the works for late-night festivities at The Mai-Kai as well as the usual room parties at the Bahia Cabana.
SATURDAY, APRIL 21
Tiki Treasure Bazaar Extravaganza and Polypop Poolside Performances: Vending and laid-back entertainment continues at the Best Western throughout the day.
Paul Roe’s Ta-ta-u – The Mark of Civilization: Paul Roe of Britishink Tattoos returns with another visually stimulating and informative presentation. This time he promises to channel the tattoo Tiki in a special hands-on symposium. He’ll take a look at the importance in Samoa of the unique male and female tattoos, culminating in a demonstration of traditional “tatau.”
Main Event at The Mai-Kai: Two dinner shows, two happy hours and live music starting at 4 p.m. and continuing until well past midnight. Reservations are required at The Mai-Kai for the early and late dinner seatings. Call (954) 563-3272.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22
Performances at the Bahia Cabana: Poolside activities to be announced in the afternoon will likely lead into another evening at The Mai-Kai. Check back for full details.
Prices range from $25 for Thursday night only to $150 for an all-access pass that gives you entry to all four days of events, including the symposiums. Other options are a Friday-Saturday pass for $55, and a Thursday-to-Saturday pass for $85 (not including symposiums). Tickets for the Friday Main Event at the Bahia Cabana are $27, and symposium prices range from $15 for “Ta-ta-u – The Mark of Civilization” to $35 for “Revenge of the Zombie.” Go to TheHukilau.com to place your order now via PayPal or credit card.