The Hukilau 2021: Daily recap, photos and video

Updated Sept. 30

The Hukilau returned to the picturesque Fort Lauderdale area oceanfront for an 18th time for four days of Polynesian Pop paradise in America’s vacationland. After missing in-person festivities in 2020 due to the pandemic, many of the event’s loyal “villagers” looked forward to getting back to The Mai-Kai and checking out the new host hotel.
UPDATED: See daily social media photos below:
Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

The Hukilau 2021

The Beachcomber on Pompano Beach is a throwback to earlier years, a smaller venue with lots of outdoor space that works perfectly in the current environment. And while The Mai-Kai has remained closed for extensive refurbishment and repairs since last October, the historic Polynesian restaurant once again hosted a Saturday evening gathering as it has since 2003, a year after The Hukilau made its debut in Atlanta.

The Hukilau 2021Sept. 16-19 at the Beachcomber Resort & Club in Pompano Beach and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring live music (The Intoxicators, Aqualads, The Hilo Hi-Flyers), symposiums, rum sponsors and pop-up cocktail bars, luau on the beach, Tiki marketplace, plus more.
Social media: Facebook page and group | Instagram
More on The Atomic Grog
* Death or Glory scares up spooktacular Sunday after-party
* Tickets still available, symposiums and schedule announced
* The Hukilau returns with new oceanfront hotel, event at The Mai-Kai

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The Intoxicators, seen performing at The Hukilau 2013, made their 15th appearance at the event. (Atomic Grog photo)
The Intoxicators, seen performing at The Hukilau 2013, made their 15th appearance at the event. (Atomic Grog photo)

ENTERTAINMENT: Musical performances at various stages throughout the Beachcomber included:

The Intoxicators – Bombastic surf and instrumental rock from Tallahassee. Also appearing: the band’s alter ego, simian surf band The Disasternauts.
Aqualads – Reverential traditional instro surf from Charlotte, N.C.
The Hilo Hi-Flyers – Retro exotica-swing-jazz from Southern California.
* Past coverage: More info on the bands
* TheHukilau.com: Playlists from all the bands

GUEST BARS & BARTENDERS: Among the cocktail offerings were drinks from Ayme Harrison (Death or Glory, Delray Beach, Fla.), Luau Lads (Jacksonville, Fla.), Marie King and Ian Yarborough (Tonga Hut, Los Angeles and Palm Springs, Calif.), Scotty Schuder (Dirty Dick, Paris), Greg Schutt (Tropics, Cocoa Beach), and Kimberly Platt (Honu, Dunedin, Fla.).

THURSDAY, Sept. 16

3-9 p.m. – Registration (Beachcomber lobby)

5 p.m. – First Timer’s Reception (Bungalow Row)

6-7 p.m. – Welcome Reception (Pearl Diver Pool)

7-9 p.m. – Blue Hawaii Show with Dan Cunningham

9-11 p.m. – Bungalow Row Parties

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FRIDAY, Sept. 17

11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Symposiums

Michael Bloom and Kurt Rogers are Jacksonville-based bartenders and consultants known as the Luau Lads
Michael Bloom and Kurt Rogers are Jacksonville-based bartenders and consultants known as the Luau Lads.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Florida/East Coast Tiki vs Tropical hosted by Luau Lads.

2:30-3:30 p.m. – Typhoon Tommy’s Guide to Tiki and Oceanic Themeing hosted by Tom Allsmiller.

4-5 p.m. – There’s No Rum in it?: A Primer on the Unsung Spirits of Tiki hosted by Tiki Lindy.

5:30-6:30 p.m. – Tiki & Tattoo hosted by Jeff Kozan.

* Past coverage: More info on the symposiums

Noon-4 p.m. Tiki Beach Pool Party (Pearl Diver and Rapa Nui pools)

Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and husband Roy Anderson perform a show combining Polynesian and Japanese drumming at The Hukilau 2016. (Provided by Marina Duran Anderson)
Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and husband Roy Anderson perform a show combining Polynesian and Japanese drumming at The Hukilau 2016. (Provided by Marina Duran Anderson)

4 p.m. – Tiki Bingo and Fraternal Order of Moai fundraiser (Deep Bar)
5:15 p.m. – Taiko Drum Show featuring Roy and Marina Duran Anderson (aka Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid

5:30 p.m. – The Hukilau Song

7 p.m. – Luau Cocktail Hour

8-10 p.m. – Luau

10 p.m.-midnight – Bungalow Row Parties

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SATURDAY, Sept. 18

Noon-4 p.m. Tiki Beach Pool Party (Pearl Diver and Rapa Nui pools)

1-7 p.m. – Tiki Treasures Bazaar
(Early access at noon for South Seas passholders)

The bazaar included 20 booths featuring a wide range of merchandise, from Tiki mugs and carvings to vintage collectibles and clothing. No pass required, free admission for all. Many of these vendors also participated in The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace in July. [Photos, recap]

Hawaiian artist Kealoha Pa (Aloha Arts) at The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace on July 19. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)
Hawaiian artist Kealoha Pa (Aloha Arts) at The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace on July 19. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

* ALOHA ARTS
* ALOHA ART AND ALLIGATORS
* BIG MIKE’S TIKI GODS
* DEAD SERIOUS CASH CUSTOMS
* EEKUM BOOKUM TIKI MUGS

* LUAU LADS
* MIMI’S BAUBLES
* NAUTICAL WHEELER
* NICE WORK BY LAZ
* SEW

* TABOO RELICS
* THE GREEN TIKI / MONKEY SKULL
* THE HONU
* THE MAI-KAI TRADING POST
* THE MODERN HISTORIC

The Mai-Kai will have signature merchandise available at the Tiki Treasures Bazaar
The Mai-Kai will have signature merchandise available at the Tiki Treasures Bazaar.

* THE SHRUNKEN MONKEY
* TIKI TOWER
* TODD TIKI
* TOM FOWNER DEVIANT ART
* VIENNA BOUTIQUE GIFTS

4-8 p.m. – Cocktails at The Mai-Kai

There were two seatings (4 and 6 p.m.) for this exclusive event for passholders. The event included signature drinks, small bites and performances by members of The Mai-Kai’s Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii.

9 p.m. – Bungalow Row Parties

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SUNDAY, Sept. 19

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Poolside Mermaid Tiki Brunch featuring MeduSirena and one of her AquatiCats. (Pearl Diver Pool)

3 p.m. – midnight – The Hukilau: Final Destination at Death or Glory in Delray Beach. The 2021 after party (aka “Hereafter Party”) perfectly fit the theme of the Halloween popup “Death or Gory in Hellray Beach.” Open to the public, free transportation for passholders.

A new Zombie becomes final challenge for The Hukilau villagers
UPDATED: A new Zombie becomes final challenge for The Hukilau villagers
Upon completion of The Hukilau, villagers had one Final Destination: the “Hereafter Party at Death or Gory in Hellray Beach.” To bring the theme full circle, The Atomic Grog presents a Zombie to end all Zombies.
>>> Event overview, photos, more
NEW RECIPE: The Final (Destination) Zombie

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The Hukilau 2021: Previous coverage

The Hukilau update: Death or Glory scares up spooktacular Sunday after-party
Death or Glory scares up spooktacular Sunday after-party
The Hukilau: Final Destination features devilishly good surf music from Skinny Jimmy Stingray, spirited Halloween cocktails, rum sponsors, guest bartenders, and more!

The Hukilau countdown: Tickets still available for 19th Tiki weekender in South Florida
The Hukilau countdown: Tickets still available for 19th Tiki weekender
The longest-running Polynesian Pop celebration on the East Coast will feature live music, symposiums, rum sponsors and pop-up cocktail bars, luau on the beach, Tiki marketplace, plus more.

The Hukilau announces return in 2021 with new oceanfront hotel, event at The Mai-Kai
The Hukilau announces return in 2021 with new oceanfront hotel, event at The Mai-Kai
Tiki weekender stages four-day takeover of beachfront hotel plus a special event at historic Polynesian restaurant.

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The Hukilau: Recent coverage
* Photos: Remembering Dawn Wells at The Hukilau 2015
* The Hukilau 2020: Virtual events honor 19th annual Tiki weekender, help those in need

The Hukilau: Past event coverage

Photos: 10 highlights from The Hukilau 2019 in Fort Lauderdale
Photos: 10 highlights from The Hukilau 2019 in Fort Lauderdale
* 2019: Photos and video from social media
* 2018 social media recap | More highlights
* 2017 daily recaps, news, photos and video | More highlights
* More recaps: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2002-2008

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More on The Atomic Grog

Photos: The Mai-Kai Tiki Marketplace in Fort Lauderdale, July 2021
Tiki Marketplace offers a taste of The Mai-Kai
The July 18 event featured vintage art and collectibles, food trucks, plus authentic Mai-Kai cocktails and entertainment.

The Tiki Times online events calendar
UPDATES: The Tiki Times: Exclusive 2021 events guide
Check the calendar for the latest upcoming live and virtual events, now updated into 2022.

Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

Hurricane Hayward reviews and rates the historic restaurant’s current and past tropical drinks, plus reveals a treasure trove of ancestor and exclusive tribute recipes.

Zombie killers: Beachbum Berry and Ed Hamilton join forces on new rum blend
The Atomic Grog 10th anniversary: Beware! Deadly Zombies ahead
After 10 years and more than 1 million page views, we take a look back at the blog’s best posts and most popular cocktails.

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