The living dead came out in full force on Halloween Eve at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, filling The Molokai bar with creative costumes and partying to the rockabilly sounds of Slip and the Spinouts for the seventh annual Hulaween.
See below: Browse photos from the event
The theme was “Night of the Zombie,” and there were plenty of undead revelers in attendance on Friday, Oct. 30. Many Zombies were also consumed by the festive attendees, who enjoyed the iconic Tiki cocktail all night long. Ghoulish guests were introduced to the Appleton Zombie, a special version of the drink featuring sponsor Appleton Estate Jamaican rum. The Appleton Girls were on hand to pass out samples of The Mai-Kai’s version of the powerful, smooth and spicy cocktail.
Slip and the Spinouts kept the party lively, as usual, performing for the fifth time at the annual Halloween bash. The dance floor filled with swing dancers almost immediately as the band cranked out an endless set list of classic rockabilly, roots, and rock ‘n’ roll plus a number of well-received originals. For Hulaween, band leader Slip Mahoney (guitar/vocals) brought along Kristi Lÿnx (bass) and John Grillo (drums).
The highlight of the party, as usual, was the costume contest featuring dozens of creations that ranged from creepy to kooky. Hulaween always attractss a hip, retro-inspired crowd with cheesy and trendy costumes almost non-existent. Cash and prizes were provided by Appleton Rum and other sponsors, including The Hukilau.
After the parade of costumes, the judges narrowed the field down to the Top 5, which all earned prizes. The Mai-Kai’s general manager, Kern Mattei, and marketing director, Pia Dahlquist, again hosted the festivities. Fifth place went to the “Spider Zombie,” while the giant “Witch Doctor” nabbed fourth place. “Mr. Zombie (With a Knife in His Head)” was awarded third place, which included $100 cash.
The judges decided that a pair of headhunter couples stood out from the pack. “Zombie Headhunter and Head” edged out “Headhunter With Captive” to take home $300 cash and prizes, including a pass to The Hukilau 2016, coming in June to Fort Lauderdale and The Mai-Kai (see preview). Second-place included $200 cash.
Hulaween is a modern tradition at The Mai-Kai, an acclaimed Polynesian restaurant that opened in 1956 and recently was named to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a favorite of mid-century-loving Tikiphiles, who rank it the best Tiki bar in the world on the Critiki website.
Hulaween 2015 photo gallery
(Click on thumbnails to see larger images or to view as slideshow)
Photos by The Atomic Grog and The Mai-Kai
The Atomic Grog’s Hulaween coverage
* 2015 preview: Zombies invade The Mai-Kai for seventh annual Hulaween party
* 2014 recap, photos: A ghastly good time at The Mai-Kai’s sixth annual Hulaween party
* 2013 recap, photos: Partygoers raise hell at The Mai-Kai’s fifth annual Hulaween
* 2012 recap, photos: Hulaween was hoppin’ all night at The Mai-Kai
* See all the past Hulaween coverage
* More Hulaween photos on Facebook: 2011 | 2010 | 2009
More on The Atomic Grog
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* Zombie alert: 5 crucial things you need to know about the deadly cocktail
* We be Jammin: Rum Renaissance Zombie fest at The Mai-Kai
* Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | See all our Mai-Kai posts