The Hukilau 2016: Entertainment, music and symposiums announced, full website launches

Christie "Tiki Kiliki" White

Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White

Updated Tuesday, Jan. 19

After 15 years of planning the East Coast’s premiere Tiki weekender, Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White knows a thing or two about giving her guests, affectionately known as “villagers,” what they want. For the 15th anniversary of The Hukilau, scheduled for June 8-12 in Fort Lauderdale, that means assembling the biggest names in the Polynesian Pop revival for an unforgettable experience unlike any other.

“Tiki culture is only growing stronger, and we are trying to provide the best show possible for anyone who wants to join us,” Tiki Kiliki said in an interview this week. She said she wants her guests to feel like “they’ve just stepped back in time into an era where Tiki was ever-present.”

See below: Signature events | Symposium previews | Music, entertainment, more
The Hukilau quick links: Buy tickets, passes | Book hotel | Schedule | Locations

The Hukilau 2016

Tickets went on sale Tuesday for an impressive array of symposiums and experiences that will make the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale the epicenter of the 21st century Tiki revival. Special guests and entertainers include some of the scene’s top artists (Shag, Tom Fowner, Will Anders, Jeff Chouinard), cocktail creators (Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate, Paul McGee, Brian Miller, St. John Frizell), bands and musicians (The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides, The Intoxicators, Skinny Jimmy Stingray, The Quiet Villagers, The Disasternauts), entertainers (Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Angie Pontani, Kitten de Ville, Lila Starlet), and pop culture historians (Otto von Stroheim, Tim “Swanky” Glazner, Humuhumu, Paul Roe).

“The appearance of Shag has really stirred tons of excitement here on the East Coast,” Tiki Kiliki said. “We don’t see him often enough, so that will be a true treat for everyone.”

This year’s event celebrates not only The Hukilau’s 15th year, but also the 60th anniversary of The Mai-Kai, the legendary Tiki temple that was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Hukilau moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2003 after launching in 2002 in Atlanta, drawn by the restaurant’s legendary reputation that only continues to grow. Last year, it was named best Tiki bar in the world after a tally of ratings by Critiki.com users.

Crowds fill the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel's Crystal Ballroom on the last day of the Tiki Treasures Bazaar. (Atomic Grog photo)

Crowds fill the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 hotel’s Crystal Ballroom for the Tiki Treasures Bazaar during The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Hukilau is returning for a second year to Pier 66, another historic property that dates back to 1956 and is beloved for its mid-century architecture and iconic rotating rooftop penthouse lounge. It’s a miraculous turnaround for The Hukilau, which nearly called it adieu in 2014. At the 11th hour, Tiki Kiliki was approached by new partners who have injected new life (and financing) into the event, enabling the move to Pier 66. She has also been able to concentrate on the creative end of things, putting together a perfect Polynesian Pop getaway for guests.

The Hukilau’s villagers last year voted Pier 66 “Best Hotel in The Hukilau’s History,” enamored by its modern amenities and hospitality provided by Hyatt, combined with its history and mid-century design. With only a few available rooms remaining during The Hukilau weekend, Tiki Kiliki urges potential guests to book sooner rather than later.

“The 66 provides a perfect backdrop to the classic era of Tiki with its roots perfectly planted the same year that The Mai-Kai first opened,” Tiki Kiliki said. Pier 66 guests are also the only villagers who will receive special welcome bags full of swag provided by sponsors. When Pier 66 sells out, she hopes to have another nearby hotel lined up for villagers to enjoy.

The 17th floor ballroom at Pier 66 offers an unparalleled view of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The 17th floor ballroom at Pier 66 offers an unparalleled view of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Sales of 2016 event passes and tickets for special events have been selling at an unprecedented rate after going online in late October, much earlier than in past years. Demand is no doubt driven by the anniversaries and the unique experiences the 2016 event offers.

Tiki Kiliki said many things are driving interest this year. Villagers are “excited about celebrating the past and the future with the anniversaries, and Tiki culture is only growing stronger. … Also, Pier 66 has a lot to do with it too. The event grows ever stronger in the right venue.”

Weekend passes are still available at 2015 prices until Tuesday (Jan. 19), when they’ll see their first increase. Five-day passes sold out just weeks after going on sale, but there are plenty of four- and three-day passes available. Also available since Tuesday are a variety of one-day passes. Passholders get first dibs on all the special events and symposiums, also announced Tuesday.

Shag, top Tiki barmen take over the tower

The Hukilau’s two signature events, held on Thursday, June 9, in the iconic 17th floor rotating Pier Top Ballroom at Pier 66, went on sale in October and are already sold out:

Shag at The Hukilau 2016

Shag’s SkyLounge: The final tickets just sold out Monday (Jan. 18) for a chance to join the acclaimed artist at his “Martini meet and mingle” from 10 p.m. to midnight, featuring spectacular night views of Fort Lauderdale Beach. The hotel’s distinctive 17-story tower opened in 1965 and has become an icon of the beachside skyline. The ballroom rotates 360 degrees every 66 minutes, a tribute to the hotel’s original owners, Phillips Petroleum. At Shag’s Skylounge, guests will enjoy live Bossa Nova music while they become a live character in a Shag painting. The room will be decorated and furnished in the artist’s distinctive style, and there will be prizes for the best Shag character costumes. The Southern California painter, designer and illustrator is making his first return to The Hukilau since 2010, and he’ll also be presenting his first-ever symposium at a Tiki event (details below). Shag, aka Josh Agle, created The Hukilau’s 2016 promotional artwork seen here and on TheHukilau.com, featuring a familiar cast of characters hanging out in the Pier Top Lounge. Also look for upcoming announcements about Shag’s artwork and merchandise that he’ll be specially creating for The Hukilau.

Tiki Tower Takeover: The event that wowed The Hukilau in 2015 is already sold out for 2016. This gathering of the top Tiki barmen from across the country will feature the return of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry (of Latitude 29 in New Orleans), Martin Cate (of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco), Brian Miller (of “Tiki Mondays With Miller” in New York City), and Paul McGee (of Lost Lake in Chicago), plus the addition of St. John Frizell, owner-operator of Fort Defiance in Brooklyn and host of The Sunken Harbor Club. Guests will enjoy new signature cocktails from all the bars, plus a welcome drink provided by Kreepy Tiki Lounge (Fort Lauderdale) along with hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment and a one-of-a-kind experience. It starts at 5 p.m. (4 p.m. for South Seas passholders). The pre-party kickoff cocktail is served starting at 3:30, and what could be considered the world’s best happy hour runs until 7 p.m.
* TheHukilau.com: See profiles of all the bartenders

“How Tiki will keep growing is in the cocktails,” Tiki Kiliki said. “By bringing people together and allowing them to taste, experience, mingle and appreciate others that are creating the scene now is a big focus of ours.”

Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid

Just released Tuesday are tickets for eight special symposiums at Pier 66, plus special events at the nearby Kreepy Tiki Lounge (Thursday’s After Party) and The Wreck Bar at the B Ocean Resort (formerly the iconic Yankee Clipper), home of Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (MeduSirena).

Due to popular demand, Marina and her pod of aquaticats will be performing three special swim shows in the hotel’s pool, visible via large portholes in the soon-to-be expanded historic bar (as seen in Hollywood movies over the decades). Priced at just $15, the shows will each have their own theme and will be for guests of The Hukilau only. To ensure clear views, The Wreck Bar will not be filled beyond capacity. Wednesday night at 10:30 is Glamour Girl (restricted to ages 18 and older), Thursday afternoon at 2 is Savage Jungle, while Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. show is Polynesian themed. As of Jan. 19, the Saturday show had sold out, but tickets were still available for the others. Marina will also perform a “Feature Figure Swim” on Thursday night at 9 at the Pier 66 pool, free to passholders. This year will mark her 10th appearance at The Hukilau.

Another focal point of The Hukilau is providing a wide-ranging lineup of symposiums that give guests a glimpse into the past. “I concentrate on the history of Tiki culture, past and present,” Tiki Kiliki said. “Whether it’s architecture, cocktails, exotica, creating the experience – they have to point someone in the right direction of keeping the culture alive.”

From Tiki in World War II to Shag’s Hawaii

Here are details on the symposiums announced Tuesday (dates and times subject to change):

Jeff "Beachbum" Berry returns to The Hukilau for the 11th straight year.

Jeff “Beachbum” Berry returns to The Hukilau for the 11th straight year.

* “World War Tiki,” presented by Jeff “Beachbum” Berry on Friday, June 10, at 4 p.m. Tickets $55. In the South Pacific during World War II, there were no bars or wine cellars, only sea, sand and jungle. So how did the Greatest Generation get lit? They adapted and overcame. The swabs made Torpedo Juice, the jarheads made Jungle Juice, and even the kamikazes had their home-brewed Doburuku. Back on the home front, Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber made drinks inspired by WW II such as the B17 and Three Dots and a Dash. When the war ended, it was just the beginning for the golden age of Tiki that the returning vets inspired. Join the world’s premier Tiki cocktail historian for a booze-fueled tour of World War II and its Tiki legacy. The author of six books on vintage Tiki drinks and proprietor of Beachbum Berry’s Latitude 29 in New Orleans will be making his 11th straight appearance at The Hukilau.

* “I Learned My ABC’s in Waikiki,” presented by Shag on Friday, June 10, at noon. Tickets $25. Don’t miss Tiki’s most famous artist as he talks about the first eight years of his life in Hawaii, and how that influenced his art and world view. His love of Tiki, ’50s and ’60s pop culture, and mid-century modern style can be traced directly to those years. In his first symposium at a Tiki event, Shag will share images, photos and graphics from that time, as well as anecdotes and history from Honolulu in the late 1960s. Shag’s artistic style is one of the most distinctive in modern art, drawing inspiration from commercial illustration from the past five decades but also imbued with an attitude and sly sense of humor that’s unmistakably of our time.
* The Atomic Grog: Artist of the Year | Artist of the Month

Otto von Stroheim, host of the annual Tiki Oasis in San Diego, was one of the pioneers of the Tiki revival.

Otto von Stroheim, host of the annual Tiki Oasis in San Diego, was one of the pioneers of the Tiki revival.

* “2001: A Tiki Odyssey,” presented by Otto von Stroheim on Saturday, June 11, at 11:30 a.m. Tickets $25. Who were the urban archaeologists who restored Tiki culture? Learn about the early days of the revival from the man who was there, before he created Tiki News and Tiki Oasis. How did they piece it all back together from scattered matchbooks, menus, and drinking vessels?

* “First Person Tiki: Seeing Polynesian Pop with Your Own Eyes,” presented by Humuhumu on Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m. Tickets $20. Get tips on how to make the most out of your Tiki travel from Polynesian Pop historian Humuhumu, creator of the Critiki website. Since 2002, the site has compiled profiles, photos and ratings of more than 850 bars and other Tiki locations around the world. Humuhumu has personally visited more than 140 of them. She will tell you about off-the-beaten-path places worth your time, and how Polynesian Pop varies from region to region.
* Facebook event | Critiki page
* The Atomic Grog: Website of the Year | Website of the Month

Tim "Swanky" Glazner is author of the upcoming book, "Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of The Iconic Tiki Restaurant."

Tim “Swanky” Glazner is author of the upcoming book, “Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of The Iconic Tiki Restaurant.”

* “The Mai-Kai: History, Mystery and Adventure,” presented by Tim “Swanky” Glazner on Friday, June 10, at 2 p.m. Tickets $25. Dive deep into the archives of The Mai-Kai to see rare video and images, and hear first-hand stories documenting the pinnacle of the mid-century Tiki era. Let Swanky, author of the upcoming book Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of The Iconic Tiki Restaurant, be your guide as you learn how a few brash young men created The Mai-Kai by staging a coup at Don the Beachcomber and quickly eclipsing that restaurant’s standard of excellence. Swanky, co-founder of The Hukilau in 2002, will preview his book – the culmination of more than 13 years of research.
* Facebook event | History and Mystery page
* The Atomic Grog: Rich history and lost stories | Tour of the mysterious bars, kitchen

* “Innocence Lost, Paradise Found – The Evolution of ‘Old School’ American Tattooing,” presented by Paul Roe on Friday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. Tickets $20. Join the noted tattoo historian and owner of Britishink Tattoos as he explores sex, sailors and the birth of the “American style” centered around Hawaii and U.S. West Coast from 1860 to 1960. Learn how two of that era’s most distinctive images – the hula girl and the mermaid – relate to the fashions of tattooing. A native of England, Roe has been tattooing since 1998 while researching tattoo history, both ancient and modern. This will be Roe’s fifth symposium at The Hukilau.

Tom Fowner

Tom Fowner

In addition, two South Florida craftsmen will teach classes to villagers interested in learning the finer points of Tiki art. Join Tom Fowner for “DIY – Make your own Float Lamp Necklace” on Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m. and create a personal keepsake you can take home. All materials and supplies are covered in the $20 admission fee. Meanwhile, the “DIY – Carving 101” class with Will Anders on Friday, June 10, at 10:30 a.m. will give guests instruction on how to delicately carve a bar of soap – a great first medium for learning the art of Tiki carving. The $20 ticket price includes everything you’ll need to get started.

Note: The Book of Tiki and Tiki Pop author Sven Kirsten regretfully had to cancel his appearance at The Hukilau due to a work commitment in his native Germany.
* TheHukilau.com: See the lineup of symposiums and buy tickets. All symposiums are in the Panorama Ballroom at Pier 66; the classes will be in the hotel’s Windows on the Green. Tickets are limited to passholders only.

Sounds of surf, exotica set the mood

Music is always a big part of the entertainment at The Hukilau. You can catch bands and performers daily, all included in the price of the one- or multi-day pass. These include Friday’s High Tide in the Panorama Ballroom and other days and locations at Pier 66; plus Wednesday’s pre-party, Saturday’s main event and Sunday’s finale at The Mai-Kai. Expect more bands and performances to be announced.

The Tikiyaki Orchestra

The Tikiyaki Orchestra: Riding another wave of success following the release of their fourth album since 2007, Idol Worship and Other Primitive Pleasures (2015), this Los Angeles-based modern exotica band has taken the mid-20th-century genre into the 21st century by fusing classic arrangements with elements of surf, lounge, crime jazz, Spaghetti Western, Hawaiian and other styles. This will be the third visit to The Hukilau for Jim Bacchi and his six-piece orchestra. Performing Friday at Pier 66, Saturday at The Mai-Kai.
* The Atomic Grog: Band of the Year | Month

Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides: The Hukilau welcomes this San Diego three-piece for their first appearance in South Florida. The instrumental surf band is a mainstay at Tiki Oasis, channeling a wide range of influences (first-wave surf, roots rock and ska) into a souped-up sound that’s appreciated by a dedicated fan base from local and national surf, skate and Tiki subcultures. Performing Friday at Pier 66, Saturday at The Mai-Kai.

The Intoxicators perform at The Mai-Kai in June, the band's 11th straight appearance at The Hukilau. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Intoxicators perform at The Mai-Kai in June 2015, the band’s 11th straight appearance at The Hukilau. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Intoxicators: This Tallahassee-based trio has bee been a fixture at The Hukilau since 2005, returning again in 2016 to blast out a powerful blend of classic surf, rockabilly, and pure guitar-driven instrumental rock. They can be found at bars and events throughout the Southeast and elsewhere, including opening slots for national acts (Los Straitjackets, Southern Culture On The Skids, Agent Orange, et al.). Performing Saturday at The Mai-Kai.
* The Atomic Grog: Band of the Month

Skinny Jimmy Stingray: Hailing a stone’s throw away from The Hukilau in Deerfield Beach, this mild-mannered axe slinger and his three-piece band carry the torch for classic instrumental surf in South Florida, performing regularly and earning support slots with Dick Dale, Los Straitjackets and The Surfaris. This will be their fourth straight year at The Hukilau. Performing Saturday at The Mai-Kai.
* The Atomic Grog: Band of the Month

South Florida's The Quiet Villagers perform in The Molokai bar at The Mai-Kai during The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

South Florida’s The Quiet Villagers perform in The Molokai bar at The Mai-Kai during The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Quiet Villagers: This South Florida trio considers themselves “mood merchants” by channeling vintage cocktail jazz, bossa nova and mid-century exotica sounds that include flute and bongos. The band made its debut at The Hukilau last year, reminding guests of their favorite classic lounge combos of yore. Performances TBA.

The Disasternauts: An out-of-this-world instrumental surf band featuring former chimp astronauts in the NASA space program. Under the masks and orange jumpsuits, it’s actually two of The Intoxicators and other guest musicians, channeling a primal fury into high-energy shows that have become legendary at The Hukilau and other high-profile events. Performances TBA.
* The Atomic Grog: Band of the Month

* TheHukilau.com: Profiles of all the bands

Angie Pontani

Angie Pontani

Also scheduled are several top burlesque stars, who will participate in Friday’s High Tide at Pier 66: Angie Pontani, Kitten de Ville and Lila Starlet. One of the premiere burlesque performers in the world for the past decade, New York’s Pontani will make her third appearance at The Hukilau. Another key figure in the modern burlesque revival, Southern California’s De Ville is a 22-year veteran and internationally known performer making her debut at The Hukilau. South Florida’s Starlet, an up-and-coming name in the field who also performs in Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid’s swim shows, is back for a second year. Also returning in 2016 are DJs James Brown’s Sweat and Mike “Jetsetter” Jones.

Besides Tiki Kiliki, the one constant since Day 1 of The Hukilau has been King Kukulele, the emcee/comedian/ukuleleist who has acted as the event’s one and only master of ceremonies. Aka Denny Moynahan, the energetic and unflappable “King” handles his duties with aplomb as he serenades villagers and keeps the music and jokes flowing.

Also announced as a special guest: Tiki carver Jeff Chouinard, aka Surf Soul Tiki, will be carving live at The Hukilau in 2016. This Tampa Bay artist is perhaps best known for his recent renegade activities: Carving Tikis into dead palm trees throughout the region.
* TheHukilau.com: Profiles of all the special guests

Signings and parties: Rub elbows with Tiki scensters

Still in the works are smaller events and gatherings throughout the five days that will give villagers the opportunity to meet and mingle with Tiki experts from around the world. “I look forward to the reactions of the villagers more so than any of the events we create,” Tiki Kiliki said. “When someone comes up to me and says thank you, I know I’ve done my job.”

Already scheduled are a number of autograph signings:

Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler's Cove in San Francisco, serves up signature cocktails at last year's Tiki Tower Takeover at Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

Martin Cate, owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco, serves up signature cocktails at last year’s Tiki Tower Takeover at Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

Martin Cate book launch at The Mai-Kai: In addition to participating in the Tiki Tower Takeover, the owner of Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco will be celebrating the release of his new book, Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki. Be among the first to check out this eagerly awaited book and meet Cate at two signings in the gift shop at The Mai-Kai: Wednesday, June 8, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m.

Book and autograph signings at Pier 66: The Tiki Treasures Bazaar in the Crystal Ballroom will host several sessions for guests to meet the special guests and have books, artwork and other items signed. On Friday, June 9, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Shag, and Otto Von Stroheim will be on hand at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, June 11, Jeff “Beachum Berry” and Martin Cate will be available at 2:30 p.m. They will also have books for sale. Note that the Bazaar is open to the general public on Saturday, but passholders only on Friday.

Still in the works are plans for a special “Tiki Road Trip Pool Party” at Pier 66 on Friday, June 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Up to six Tiki bars from across the U.S. will be setting up booths around the pool and serving their signature cocktails in this new event, inspired by Tiki Road Trip, the seminal Tiki travel guide by James Teitelbaum.

“It was his book that gave many people the first look at all that was out there in Tiki bars around the country, so we thought it fitting to tie in the name as we’re giving you that experience to visit, hopefully, six different destinations by going to one event.” Tiki Kiliki said.
* TheHukilau.com: More on the special events

Hotel, passes and tickets: Get yours now

The Huikilau artwork by Shag

Multi-day passes range from the three-day Luau Pass ($115) to the four-day Aloha Pass ($130). Five-day South Seas and Big Kahuna passes are sold out due to the small capacity of The Molokai bar at The Mai-Kai, site of Wednesday night’s pre-party. One-day passes are available for Thursday ($55) and Friday ($95). The Thursday after-party at Kreepy Tiki is $15, while a Friday night pass for the High Tide event featuring bands and burlesque is $70. Prices will increase on Tuesday, Jan. 19, for Luau ($130) and Aloha ($150) passes, so get them now at 2015 prices while you can. Passholders can buy symposium and special event tickets at the prices listed above.

Pier 66 is offering exclusive rates for The Hukilau while rooms last: $129 for a marina/pool view, $149 for tower rooms, and $169 for tower junior suites. All rates are based on double occupancy. Only those staying at Pier 66 will receive The Hukilau’s welcome bags full of sponsor donations, given to attendees each year.

The Huikilau artwork by Shag

If you plan on attending the main event Saturday night at The Mai-Kai, you must call (954) 563-3272 to make dinner reservations. The first seating in the showroom to see the Polynesian Islander Revue (and The Hukilau’s on-stage presentations) is sold out. But you can still see the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States during later shows, which will also include event-specific touches. The shows are presented nightly, and guests are welcome to check out the historic restaurant at their leisure. Go to MaiKai.com for details, and also check out The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide on The Atomic Grog.

Free transportation will be provided from Pier 66 for all South Seas, Big Kahuna, Aloha and Luau passholders for certain events. Villagers can sign up to be shuttled the 6 miles to and from The Mai-Kai on Wednesday and Saturday. Transportation will also be provided to MeduSirena’s swim show at the B Ocean Resort on Wednesday and the Kreepy Tiki Lounge after-party on Thursday. Those venues are closer to the hotel, roughly 1 and 2 miles respectively. Shuttle tickets can be selected when purchasing passes. Taxis, Uber and Lyft are also readily available.
* TheHukilau.com: Buy tickets, passes | Book hotel | Schedule | Transportation | FAQ

The Mai-Kai: A one-of-a-kind gem that stands the test of time

Experiencing The Mai-Kai is a highlight of The Hukilau for many. “Every time I walk into The Mai-Kai, it feels like the first time,” Tiki Kiliki said. “I want others to experience that too.”

The Mai-Kai

Wednesday’s sold-out opening night party, Saturday’s main event and Sunday’s finale will all take place at the historic restaurant. From happy hour in the nautical Molokai lounge, to the acclaimed stage show, to the many themed dining rooms and lush outdoor gardens, time spent at The Mai-Kai is like stepping back into the mid-20th century.

The Mai-Kai features a classic A-frame building and sprawling grounds full of artifacts, along with a lush garden dominated by waterfalls and giant tikis. The tropical drinks, considered to be among the world’s best, are a direct descendant of the original cocktails created by Don the Beachcomber in the 1930s to 1950s.

The Hukilau will pay tribute to The Mai-Kai in 2016 with a celebration of the restaurant’s 60th birthday. “We are so lucky to have this landmark still with us,” Tiki Kiliki said. “So whether it’s the 60th anniversary or not, each day, each year should be celebrated.”

Opened on Dec. 28, 1956, by restaurateurs Bob and Jack Thornton, The Mai-Kai was inspired by the brothers’ visits to Don the Beachcomber in their native Chicago, and it originally featured many staff from that location. The Mai-Kai still upholds those original standards and traditions, along with creating many of its own. The event mug will honor the history, and more special events will be announced. Look for more on Sunday’s finale to be announced soon.
* TheHukilau.com: More on The Mai-Kai | Tips from the villagers

Tiki Treasures Bazaar: Art and collectibles from around the globe

Michael Gordon (left), aka Tiki Zombie, with fellow comic professional William Michael Kielhorn at The Hukilau 2016. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

Michael Gordon (left), aka Tiki Zombie, with fellow comic professional William Michael Kielhorn at The Hukilau 2016. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

The Tiki Treasures Bazaar in the 7,500-square-foot Crystal Ballroom and Atrium at Pier 66 is a huge vendor marketplace featuring artists, antique collectors and creators of unique vintage-style merchandise. Located just off the lobby in the main tower, the bazaar features Tiki carvings, mugs, aloha wear, vintage vinyl, collectibles and tons of ephemera from all over the world. Announced hours are:
* Thursday: 5:30-10 p.m. (pass required)
* Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (pass required)
* Saturday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (open to the public)

The bazaar will also be the site of special sponsor rum tastings and the new Rum Shack, both included with all weekend passes. On Saturday, day guests can buy wristbands that will allow them access to the exclusive spirits and cocktails.

Confirmed vendors for 2016 include: The Hukilau official merchandise, Tiki Kiliki Productions, Robert Jimenez, Eekum Bookum, Cocktail Kingdom, Art & Alligators, the Art of Richie Fahey, the Art of Clee, Big Mike’s Tiki Gods, and New Legend Productions / Tiki Zombie.
* TheHukilau.com: Become a vendor

Sponsors for 2016 include Flor de Caña and Sailor Jerry rums, Hendrick’s gin, Reyka vodka, and Leyenda del Milagro tequila. Stay tuned for many more
* TheHukilau.com: Become a sponsor or advertiser | The Hukilau history

Paper sculpture for The Hukilau by artist Kevin Kidney.

Paper sculpture for The Hukilau by artist Kevin Kidney.

The Hukilau has braved hurricanes, hotel changes and economic upheaval to leave a lasting impact on the modern Tiki scene. The event helped rejuvenate interest in the historic Mai-Kai and (along with MeduSirena) spearheaded the re-institution of the mermaid shows at the Yankee Clipper. The Hukilau has proudly kept Polynesian Pop’s past alive and well, while also stirring interest among a new generation of talented artisans, performers, mixologists, and enthusiasts from all walks of life.

The Hukilau, known as the most authentic Tiki event in the world, began in 2002 at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta. It moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2003 and has grown from a small gathering into an international event, drawing up to 1,500 visitors annually.
* TheHukilau.com: What is The Hukilau? | The Hukilau history

Tiki Kiliki credits everyone who has participated for the past 15 years as much as her own tenacity. “It’s all in the people you involve in the event,” she said. “If you surround yourself with people that love the culture and appreciate Tiki and Polynesian Pop the way that you do, then it will always stay true to our roots of creating The Hukilau in the first place: Throwing the net out there to all fans of Poly Pop and bringing them together for a special celebration.”

The Hukilau: June 8-12, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Shag, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Martin Cate, Paul McGee, Brian Miller, St. John Frizell, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, The Tikiyaki Orchestra, Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides, The Intoxicators, Skinny Jimmy Stingray, The Quiet Villagers, The Disasternauts, Otto von Stroheim, Paul Roe, Tim “Swanky” Glazner, Humuhumu, Tom Fowner, Will Anders, Jeff Chouinard, Angie Pontani, Kitten de Ville, Lila Starlet, plus more.
* TheHukilau.com | Facebook: Page and Group | Twitter | Instagram
* Leave a text or voicemail message: (754) 900-TIKI

The Hukilau 2016 on The Atomic Grog
* First dinner show full, Shag event and hotel near sellout
* All Tiki Tower Takeover tickets are taken, 5th bartender announced
* The Hukilau: All five-day tickets are sold out
* Tiki Tower Takeover bartenders return, Marina to perform in expanded Wreck Bar
* The Hukilau 2016 passes on sale now at 2015 prices
* Passes, special event tickets and rooms available soon
* Shag to help toast The Hukilau’s 15th anniversary

Special guest Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island) is captured by Jim Stacy (Offbeat Eats With Jim Stacy) at The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

Special guest Dawn Wells (Gilligan’s Island) is captured by Jim Stacy (Offbeat Eats With Jim Stacy) at The Hukilau 2015. (Photo by Go11Events.com)

The Hukilau 2015 was the debut of Pier 66 as a host venue, and it was later voted by guests as their favorite of all the Fort Lauderdale Beach hotels. The June 10-14 event included a cruise with Dawn Wells of Gilligan’s Island; vendors and rum samples in the Tiki Treasures Bazaar; and educational symposiums and live entertainment that included the Alika Lyman Group, The Intoxicators, Gold Dust Lounge, King Kukulele, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily, plus many more.

The Hukilau 2015 recaps from The Atomic Grog
* Tiki’s top barmen take over the Pier 66 tower
* The Hukilau soars at mid-century marvel Pier 66 hotel
* Day-by-day recaps and photos: Wednesday | Thursday
Friday | Saturday/Sunday
* The Hukilau 2015 full coverage
* Past photo recaps: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

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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