The Hukilau’s Tiki Kiliki announces ‘The Final Aloha’ in 2014

UPDATES: The Hukilau announces return for 14th year in 2015 (April 2014)
See all of The Atomic Grog’s coverage

The Hukilau: June 11-15, 2014, at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Latest updates: TheHukilau.com | Facebook or Twitter

The Hukilau: The Final Aloha

After 12 years of hosting one of the largest and most authentic gatherings of Polynesian Pop enthusiasts from across the globe, Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White announced today that The Hukilau in June 2014 will be the event’s “Final Aloha.”

“I am lucky enough to be embarking on a new career and as we all know, life has the tendency to naturally shift your focus and you follow another path,” White posted today on the event’s official website. “We feel honored to have accomplished what we set out to do many years ago – to bring awareness to Tiki palaces on the East Coast and to help in their preservation so that many more generations are able to enjoy the spirit of Aloha.”

The Hukilau’s 13th and final event promises to be “the Big Kahuna – The Hukilau to end all Hukilaus,” White announced. “We are extending the event to five glorious days in the sun this year. Each one will bring new experiences and special performances.”

Organizer Christie "Tiki Kiliki" White breaks out in song with Mai-Kai manager Kern Mattei, and longtime event performers King Kukulele and Crazy Al Evans during The Hukilau in June 2013

Organizer Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White breaks out in song with Mai-Kai manager Kern Mattei, and longtime event performers King Kukulele and Crazy Al Evans during The Hukilau in June 2013. (Photo by Go11Media.com)

Tickets are on sale now at TheHukilau.com, which also features information on booking rooms at the host hotel, the Bahia Mar Beach Resort on Fort Lauderdale Beach. The site of The Hukilau for a sixth time, the Bahia Mar will provide the necessary size and scope for what is sure to be a festive finale. Our previous post detailed the Bahia Mar’s role in the history of The Hukilau. “We are so happy to be back at the Bahia Mar for our final year,” White said.

The legendary Mai-Kai Polynesian restaurant, open since 1956 and still burning brightly in all its mid-century glory, remains the heartbeat of The Hukilau. After a successful 2002 debut at Atlanta’s vintage Trader Vic’s location, the event moved south in 2003. “We have called The Mai-Kai and Fort Lauderdale home ever since,” White’s statement said. “The Mai-Kai will always continue to be that home for the many villagers that have attended since 2002 to experience an event that has hosted thousands of Tikiphiles from all over the world.”

White promises an all-star lineup of musical acts, performers, expert symposiums and much more for the final party. The lineup will be announced and the full website launched on Jan. 7.

Christie "Tiki Kiliki" White performs a marriage on stage at The Mai-Kai during The Hukilau in June 2010

Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White performs a marriage on stage at The Mai-Kai during The Hukilau in June 2010. (Photo by Go11Media.com)

The longtime organizer will bid The Hukilau adieu with mixed emotions. Her life and flourishing career in Alabama have made it more and more difficult to put together an event more than 600 miles away. “Through the past 13 years, I have become a different person due to this event, sometimes good, sometimes not so good,” her statement says. “Whatever the case, I am truly fortunate to have met so many incredible artisans, purists, musicians, enthusiasts, carvers and general lovers of a good time – all of you.”

She recalls seeing children mature, couples meet and marry, and “the birth of a Tikiphile or two.” She marvels at the “thousands upon thousands of friendships forged, all because of this small event that happens once a year in Florida.”

In conclusion, White said: “To be a part of something truly special that has helped connect so many people – it has been a dream come true. My only regret is staying so constantly busy that I haven’t had the time to spend it with you. That will change in 2014.”

Hukilau links
TheHukilau.com | Facebook page | Facebook group | Twitter | YouTube | Photos | Flickr

Venue sites
* Bahia Mar Beach Resort | Facebook page
* The Mai-Kai | Facebook page

Previous Atomic Grog coverage
* The Hukilau changes hotels, expands to five days
* The Hukilau presents the perfect way to serve up Tiki history in a glass
* PBS stations say aloha to long-awaited documentary on Tiki culture
* All posts on The Hukilau | The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | All Mai-Kai posts

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.
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