UPDATES: The Hukilau says ‘Aloha’ but not goodbye, adds more entertainment (May)
The Hukilau announces return for 14th year in 2015 (April)
The Hukilau adds new band, symposium to lineup for June’s ‘final aloha’ (March)
In just over four months, tikiphiles from around the world will flock to Fort Lauderdale for The Hukilau’s 13th and final celebration of authentic mid-century Polynesian Pop culture. If you want to join the party, you might want to act fast. All-access tickets and one special event have already sold out.
The Hukilau: June 11-15, 2014, at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale. Get tickets and make hotel reservations now at TheHukilau.com. Get updates on the Facebook page.
Previous post: The Hukilau announces entertainment lineup for ‘final aloha’
The tentative full schedule was just posted on the official website, providing the first day-by-day rundown of all the festivities. Also recently announced was the sellout of author and historian Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s symposium on the Tiki cocktail de-evolution and revival. “Tiki’s Dark Ages: From Fern Bars To Rebirth” is scheduled for Thursday, June 12, at 1 p.m. in the dining room at The Mai-Kai restaurant.
But you’re not entirely out of luck if you missed out on tickets to Berry’s final symposium at The Hukilau, and perhaps his last for quite a while as he turns his attention to his upcoming Tiki bar in New Orleans. He will be meeting guests and signing books, including his new Potions of the Caribbean, at the Cocktail Kingdom vendor booth in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar at the host hotel, the Bahia Mar Beach Resort.
Announced times for the Beachbum Berry signings are: Thursday, June 12, 6:30-8 p.m.; Friday, June 13, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 7-8:30 p.m.; and Saturday, June 14, 1:30-3 p.m. We’re also told that the other symposiums are expected to sell out soon and that the Bahia Mar is 50 percent booked. The bazaar is half way toward filling its allotment of 45 vendors, so if you’d like to sell your wares it would be wise to inquire now.
Attendees are also encouraged to make their dinner reservations at The Mai-Kai for the Saturday night Main Event. You must call (954) 563-3272 to secure a table for your party. The first dinner show typically sells out, and this year the second is likely to fill up as well. You can also book a non-showroom table and still be close to the action, including the live bands performing all night.
The Hukilau also recently announced details and put tickets on sale for its special cruise aboard the historic Jungle Queen. One of Florida’s oldest “roadside attractions,” the first of the Jungle Queen boats set sail in 1935 on tours of the inland waterways of what later became known as the “Venice of America,” according to the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. The old-fashioned riverboat (currently Jungle Queen IV) is docked at the Bahia Mar Yacht Club Wharf, just a short walk from the hotel.
The voyage for guests of The Hukilau is scheduled for 3-4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13, (boarding at 2:30). Passengers will be treated to a welcome cocktail, and entertainment will include The Hukilau’s emcee, King Kukulele. This will be the only cruise, and a limited number of tickets are available online for $45.
Go to The Hukilau’s online ticketing page to place your order now. Tickets remain for the cruise, three symposiums and various day passes. The Big Kahuna Pass, which includes access to all five days of events, including Wednesday night’s pre-party at The Mai-Kai, has already sold out. The four-day Aloha Pass is still available for $125.
Here’s a closer look at the highlights of the five days of paradise in America’s vacationland:
Wednesday, June 11: Big Kahuna passholders will be treated to the Unofficial Official Pre-Party in The Molokai bar at The Mai-Kai starting at 8:30 p.m. Later, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (Medusirena) and her pod of Aquaticats will perform a special midnight swim exclusively for The Hukilau. All of Marina’s swims will take place in her usual haunt, the Wreck Bar inside the Sheraton Beach Hotel (Yankee Clipper), just down the street from the Bahia Mar.
Thursday, June 12: Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s sold-out symposium kicks off the first “official” day of events. Appetizers and cocktails will be available at The Mai-Kai for ticketholders who want to get an early start on the festivities. At the Bahia Mar, the Official Kick Off Party runs from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Commodore Ballroom. Get a sneak peek at the vendors in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar as perennial favorites The Intoxicators perform their rousing instrumental surf and garage rock tunes. Special cocktails available in the ballroom throughout the event (plus the cruise) will be created with assistance from Lucky the Painproof Man and The Straw Hat Barmen. Back at The Mai-Kai starting at 9 p.m., Thursday’s Official After Party will feature a performance by Gold Dust Lounge on the restaurant’s main stage. For the first time, The Mai-Kai is opening The Molokai and the main dining room for a private party for The Hukilau. It will be closed to the general public.
Friday, June 12: The Tiki Treasures Bazaar is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., the best time to browse all the cool retro goods before they’re gone. At 11 a.m., it’s “Mark of the Beast – Animal Spirits Tattooed,” a symposium from tattoo historian Paul Roe, owner of Britishink Tattoos in Washington, D.C. At 1 p.m., author Philip Greene presents “To Have and Have Another,” a symposium on the life and times (and cocktails) of Ernest Hemingway. The Jungle Queen cruise boards at 2:30 p.m., while Marina and her fellow mermaids perform a special Friday night show at 6:30 p.m. at the Wreck Bar. The Bahia Mar hosts Friday night’s Main Event from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Commodore Ballroom, featuring emcee King Kukulele along with live music and performances by California’s The Smokin’ Menehunes, plus Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, DJs and more. Friday’s Official After Party runs from 11 p.m. until the wee hours in the Bahia Mar’s Ocean View Room. The bash will be hosted by Mike “Jetsetter” Jones and feature simian surf band The Disasternauts, DJ Action Pat and more.
Saturday, June 14: It’s your last chance to check out the Tiki Treasures Bazaar (open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and only chance to see The Hukilau’s headlining band, The Left Arm of Buddha from Belgium. The “retro-exotico-moderno orchestra” will perform at 11:30 a.m. in the Commodore Ballroom. The event’s final symposium, “Cocktails and Fishtails: The Untold Story of the Porthole Cocktail Lounge,” is set for 1:30 p.m., hosted Vintage Roadside and special guest and Medusirena. Saturday’s Main Event at The Mai-Kai is a marathon affair, with the first happy hour starting at 4:30 p.m. in The Molokai bar. There will be two dinner shows, another happy hour and live bands performing all night in The Molokai and the back dining rooms. Expect the party to run well past midnight as The Hukilau’s revelers enjoy their final Mai-Kai main event, dressed to kill in their finest aloha formal wear.
Sunday, June 15: The final day begins at noon at The Mai-Kai with a showing of the final cut of Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through America’s Polynesian Obsession, the PBS documentary that was filmed at The Hukilau and The Mai-Kai in 2011 and 2012, then previewed at the event last June. Following the film, The Molokai opens for appetizers and cocktails. Exclusively for The Hukilau, there will also be exhibits of The Mai-Kai’s historic photos, costumes, scrapbooks, mugs, dinnerware, menus and more from the past 57 years. The Hukilau’s organizer, Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White, also promises a special addition to the exhibit that will be announced in the coming months.
It’s sure to be an emotional farewell for Tiki Kiliki, her staff and longtime attendees. Make your plans now so you don’t miss out.
Past Atomic Grog coverage
* The Hukilau announces entertainment lineup for ‘final aloha’
* The Hukilau’s Tiki Kiliki announces ‘The Final Aloha’ in 2014
* The Hukilau changes hotels, expands to five days
* 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