From the ashes of the Week in Tiki (and, later, the Month in Tiki) rises The Tiki Times. Still ambitious, but more practical, this monthly guide to what’s going on across the world of Tiki culture will hopefully be a definitive resource of where to find special events that touch on topics of interest to many Tikiphiles. You’ll find all the major Tiki festivals, plus smaller gatherings along with events that scratch our itch for rum and cocktails, surf and rockabilly music, mid-century modern design, even Disney. And don’t forget authentic Polynesian culture, the well from which Tiki springs. The biggest will get extended coverage as “spotlight events.”
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MAY 2017 TIKI EVENTS CALENDAR
Spotlight event: Tiki Caliente (May 18-21)
Ongoing events | Upcoming events
May 6 – Dapper Day Spring Soiree at Disneyland Paris.
May 7 – Hawaiian Bazaar & Brunch at Trader Vic’s in Emeryville, Calif. A showcase of vendors plus tasty food and drinks at the landmark restaurant.
May 9 – Dirty Dick Takeover at Porco Lounge & Tiki Room in Cleveland featuring Plantation rums and cocktails by Scotty Schuder from the famous Tiki bar in Paris.
May 13 – Shag print signing at TikiCat in Kansas City featuring the acclaimed artist Josh Agle. He’ll be signing prints of the new painting he did for the recently-opened Tiki bar.
May 13 – Tiki Trader San Diego at Bali Hai. A new event at the historic restaurant featuring more than 40 vendors, music, drinks, fun and food.
May 18-21 – Tiki Caliente returns to Palm Springs, Calif., for its ninth gathering with the theme “Beyond the Reef.” Featuring live music, seminars, room and pool parties, art shows, vendors and more at the historic Caliente Tropics resort.
Tiki Caliente highlights
* An always creative event mug (available only at the event) that pays tribute to Tiki history, crafted by Doug Horne and Eekum Bookum. This year it’s the Menehune Mug, which honors the United Airlines mascot from the 1970s. There’s also a special Handpainted Event Mug Art Show in the lobby of the Caliente Tropics, where more than 20 artists will be taking blank event mugs and painting them in their own unique styles. Artists include Sam Gambino, Doug Horne, Tiki Tony, Big Toe, Christine Benjamin, Bamboo Ben, Thor, John Mulder, Dawn Frasier, Matt Reese, Woody Miller, Crazy Al Evans, Dave Warsaw, Michael Fleming, Eric October, plus more.
* Symposiums and special events featuring some of the West Coast’s top Tiki movers and shakers. This year, guests can enjoy “Shag: Amongst the Tikis,” a unique opportunity to join artist Josh Agle as he talks about the influence of Tiki art and culture on his paintings, his childhood in Hawaii and his young adult years chasing vanishing Tiki bars before they went extinct. Shag will also show images of his art, his own Tiki collection and historic photos of Waikiki in the late 1960s. Bartender Kelly Merrell from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at Disneyland will present “The No-Rum Tiki Symposium” on both Friday and Saturday, delving into the history of exotic cocktails that use whiskey, gin, scotch, tequila and a few other surprises.
* An entertainment lineup that seems to get bigger and better ever year, including: The Jimmy Psycho Experiment, Tiki Tronic, Jason Lee and the R.I.P. Tides, Martini Kings, Meshugga Beach Party (pictured above), Mitch Chang, Zulluu, Pat “Palika” Enos, the Big Poi Combo, Lucky Tongue, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, and more.
* Room parties take over the Caliente Tropics, with guests showing off their creativity and hospitality with highly-themed cocktail hours such as “Just Keep Swimming,” “Mug Muus Get Lei’d,” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.” The room crawl even has its own Facebook page.
* And don’t forget the return of the poolside “yacht rock” party on Saturday hosted by Rory “Wildsville Man” Snyder (Tiki Caliente’s founder and organizer) and Marty Lush (aka Digitiki of The Quiet Village). Snyder will also be showing off his new bar, The Reef, which opened in March in a historic location inside the Caliente Tropics.
Media coverage: Tiki Caliente 9, & 4 days of Tiki cool (Adventures in Tiki)
Official sites: Tiki-Caliente.com | Facebook page | Instagram
* Past Atomic Grog coverage, photos
May 18-20 – Surf O Rama Festival in Valencia, Spain. The 14th annual surf and garage rock fest will feature the exclusive European appearance of Man or Astro-man? (celebrating their 25th anniversary) plus more than a dozen bands from across the globe, DJs, a flea market, exhibitions, cocktails and lots more.
May 19 – TikiBeat 2017 at Bali Hai in San Diego. A summer kickoff party presented by San Diego CityBeat featuring live music (Creepoxotica, the Upshots, many more), fashion show, burlesque, Polynesian dancers and drummers, Mean Gene’s Tiki Art Show, live Tiki art by David James Hermanson, tropical cocktails, plus more.
May 20-21 – Psycho Suzi’s Art-A-Whirl Outdoor Waterfront Festival in Minneapolis, Minn. A free event at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge featuring live bands, DJ dance party, food and drinks, plus the fifth annual Puppy Fashion Show with more than $450 in prizes.
May 27-28 – St. Croix Rum Festival celebrating the island’s historical culture of spirits, food, music and arts. Featuring international rum exhibitors, food from local cooks and restaurants, local and international entertainers, arts & crafts, plus more.
May 29-June 1 – International Rum Congress in Madrid, Spain. The fifth annual festival welcomes both industry and enthusiasts to sample the latest and greatest rums from around the world.
ONGOING MONTHLY EVENTS
First Thursday – Otto’s Grotto at Forbidden Island in Alameda, Calif. Tiki Oasis mastermind and DJ Otto von Stroheim spins his favorite exotic tunes.
May 6 – Unsteady Freddie’s Surf-Rock Shindig at Otto’s Shrunken Head in New York City.
May 11 – Tiki Bingo at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale hosted by the Gumbo Limbo Chapter of the Fraternal Order Of Moai. A fund-raising event featuring an extended happy hour.
May 17 – Exotia Night: A Midcentury Cocktail Experience at Slowly Shirley in New York City. Featuring live jazz and exotica by the Alika Lyman Trio plus special drink menu.
Third Wednesday – Primativa in Hi-Fi at Otto’s Shrunken Head in New York City. DJs Jack Fetterman and Gina of the Jungle spin the best exotica, lounge and cocktail music.
May 23 – Coconut Club Nights at Clifton’s Pacific Seas in Los Angeles. A mystical evening of elaborate Tiki-inspired cocktails, delicious plates and amusements.
MAJOR UPCOMING EVENTS
June 7-11 – The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale. [Atomic Grog coverage]
June 22-25 – Ohana: Luau At The Lake at The Tiki Resort, Lake George, N.Y. [Atomic Grog coverage]
June 22-25 – Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, Italy.
June 30-July 2 – Tiki Kon in Portland, Ore. [Atomic Grog coverage]
July 18-23 – Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, La. [Atomic Grog coverage]
Aug. 4-6 – Surf Guitar 101 Convention in Torrance, Calif.
Aug. 10-13 – Tiki Oasis in San Diego, Calif. [Atomic Grog coverage]
Aug. 25-27 – Asbury Park Surf Music Festival on the New Jersey shore.
Sept. 8 – California Rum Festival in San Francisco.
Sept 30 – New York Rum Festival in New York City.
Oct. 14-15 – The RumFest: London and London Cocktail Week on Oct. 2-8.
October TBA – Mod Palm Springs at the Caliente Tropics resort. [Atomic Grog coverage]
More events coming soon!
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