Event spotlight: Arizona Tiki Oasis brings Polynesian Pop party to the desert

April 12-14 – Arizona Tiki Oasis in Scottsdale. An island lifestyle party in the middle of the desert at the historic Hotel Valley Ho resort. Featuring a marketplace with more than 60 curated artisans, more than 20 educational seminars, mid-century architectural tours, live mermaid performance, art show, luau featuring Polynesian dancers, plus more.
* Facebook event | Event app | Official program
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Arizona Tiki Oasis
Arizona Tiki Oasis artwork by Mookie Sato.
Live on social media

More photos: Phoenix New Times gallery

About Arizona Tiki Oasis

After 19 years of organizing the world’s oldest and largest Tiki event (Tiki Oasis in San Diego), the power couple of Baby Doe and Otto von Stroheim decided to expand their horizons in 2019. As a spring sister event to their massive summer bash that draws thousands to Southern California every August, they looked east … but not too far.

The Hotel Valley Ho was built in 1956 and recently restored to its original glory. (From Arizona Tiki Oasis on Facebook)
The Hotel Valley Ho was built in 1956 and recently restored to its original glory. (From Arizona Tiki Oasis on Facebook)

Arizona Tiki Oasis brings all the hallmarks of the original event to a mid-century desert setting, from a vintage hotel to some of the biggest names in the Tiki revival. The April date makes it one of the first major events of the year, leading into the busy summer season. Scottsdale may not be a Tiki hotbed, but it’s loaded with mid-century architecture and features the perfect vibe for a more sophisticated version of today’s modern Tiki event.

Instead of a non-stop party vibe, this more laid-back weekender touts poolside lounging, spa treatments, lounge-style dinners, and late-night dancing. The Hotel Valley Ho, est. 1956 and located in downtown Scottsdale, is the perfect locale. It was recently restored to its former mid-century splendor, blending vintage style with modern amenities.

Arizona Tiki Oasis highlights

* Pre-party at Hula’s Modern Tiki: The fun starts early with happy hour on Thursday at this Tiki-meets-mid-mod restaurant.

Arizona Tiki Oasis fabric by artist Mookie Sato.
Arizona Tiki Oasis fabric by artist Mookie Sato.

Pop-up art show: Curated by Baby Doe, this fine art exhibit will feature works by Atomikitty, Big Toe, Candy, Doug Horne, Furious Jim, Harry Decker, The Boozy Doodler, Ken Ruzic, Kymm! Bang, Lisa Penney, Megan Besmirched, Mookie Sato, Odd Rodney, Rarabird, Rob Hawes, Shag, Susana Andrea, Tiki Tony, Tom Cooper, and Willy Tikis. The reception is Thursday and the exhibit will be open Friday thru Sunday.

Music and mayhem: Catch live performances by Martini Kings, Moonlight Magic, The Surfside IV, and Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid plus DJs, burlesque and more.

Brother Cleve is a longtime musician and musicologist, and also one of the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement.
Brother Cleve is a longtime musician and musicologist, and also one of the pioneers of the craft cocktail movement.

Educational seminars: Want to expand your knowledge of Tiki culture, cocktails and style? Look no further. Experts on a wide range of topics will share their expertise. Among the sessions that caught our eye:

  • In Search of Tiki in the Sunshine States with Sven Kirsten.
  • Tiki’s Big Bang: Planter’s Punch with Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.
  • Exotica: The Story of the Sound of Tiki, on a Platter with Brother Cleve.
  • Bosko and the Rebirth of Tiki with Bosko Hrnjak and special guests.
  • Adventureland, Trader Sam, and Two Shots of Rum with Trader Brandon.
  • The Art of Trader Vic’s with Eve Bergeron.
  • Like a Hurricane – Flavor Hacks and Remixes on Iconic Tiki Cocktails with Shannon Mustipher.
  • New Traditionalists with Garret Richard.
  • Create a World of Tiki in Your Home with Pam Kueber.

The Tiki-Tiki-Ho-Ho Luau: On Friday night, guests can immerse themselves in a traditional pig roast held poolside with all the trimmings, including Hawaiian-themed desserts and Tiki cocktails.

Two new prints on wood, created for Arizona Tiki Oasis by Shag.
Two new prints on wood, created for Arizona Tiki Oasis by Shag.

Shag print and shirt release parties: Tiki’s most accomplished artist will release two new, limited-edition items at Arizona Tiki Oasis. Guests will get exclusive access to a new aloha shirt and two different hand-embellished prints on wood, each in editions of only 50.
* Facebook event

Shop ’til you drop: The Arizona Tiki Oasis Marketplace, open Saturday and Sunday, will feature a dizzying array of vendors, including some of the biggest names in the Tiki art world. Among the many offering their wares, look for Atomikitty, Brian Rechenmacher, Crazy Al Evans, Dionysus Records, Eric October, Mookie Sato, Munktiki, Shag, Tee-Ki Togs, Doug Horne, Tiki Diablo, Bosko, Tiki Tony, Tiki Ray , Trader Brandon, and many more.

More Arizona Tiki Oasis online
* Facebook page and group | Instagram | Twitter

Press coverage
* Learn about the tiki culture at the Hotel Valley Ho
* Tiki event brings food, drink, culture to Hotel Valley Ho in April

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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