Minimalist Tiki

The Tiki Times – June 2017 Events Calendar: Summer season heats up with The Hukilau, Ohana: Luau At The Lake, Tiki Kon and more!

The Tiki Times

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.”
Social media: Follow our Facebook page for daily news updates
Pinterest | Coming soon: Twitter and Instagram

Spotlight events: The Hukilau (June 7-11) | Surfer Joe Summer Festival (June 22-25) | Ohana: Luau At The Lake (June 23-26) | Tiki Kon (June 30-July 2)
Ongoing events | Upcoming events

June 3 – Rum: Past, Present, Future at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta. A new seminar by Paul Senft of the blog.

June 6 – James Beard Foundation Greens Chicago Tiki Party at Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago. An inaugural event featuring a mixology demo by beverage director Julian Cox, rum cocktails, Polynesian appetizers and more.

********************* SPOTLIGHT EVENT *********************

June 7-11 – The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale is the east coast’s largest and longest-running Tiki weekender. The 16th annual bash returns to the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 for the third year and the historic Mai-Kai restaurant for the 15th straight year. As usual, there will be a schedule packed with symposiums, live music, rum tastings, special events and parties, a huge vendor marketplace, plus more.

The Hukilau

The Hukilau highlights

* Tikiphiles take over The Mai-Kai. From Wednesday night’s pre-party to Sunday’s finale, there are plenty of opportunities for The Hukilau’s “villagers” to enjoy the 60-year-old Tiki palace that was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The biggest gathering is Saturday night’s main event, which includes two performances of The Mai-Kai’s Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii.

MORE HUKILAU LIVE COVERAGE: Recap, news, photos and video

* Symposiums, merchandise put spotlight on The Mai-Kai. The Hukilau’s villagers can satisfy their never-ending thirst for all things Mai-Kai with three special symposiums: The Mai-Kai’s Untold Stories with Tim “Swanky” Glazner will be held Friday at Pier 66. The author of Mai-Kai: History and Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant will lead a panel discussion with current and former employees of The Mai-Kai, presenting the real history from the people who lived it. Saturday at Pier 66, Nautical Tiki with Mike Skinner will include the Tiki researcher’s deep dive into Polynesian Pop’s connection to adventures on the high seas, plus new details on how the legendary HMS Bounty is linked to The Molokai lounge at The Mai-Kai.. Then, on Sunday at The Mai-Kai, The Atomic Grog’s Hurricane Hayward will present “The Menus of The Mai-Kai: 60 Years of Tiki Cocktail History,” an interactive slideshow that will explore dozens of vintage menus and trace the chronology of the legendary cocktails. Rare “lost cocktails” from the early menus will be served during the all-day event that also includes live music. Artist Tiki Tony is also putting a Mai-Kai spin on the event merchandise, from the event mug (produced by John Mulder of Eekum Bookum) based on the shrunken heads in the Samoa dining room (see above) to a pendant based on the restaurant’s distinctive lamps.

MORE HUKILAU LIVE COVERAGE: Recap, news, photos and video

* The host hotel, the iconic Pier 66, is the perfect setting. Another 60-year-old venue, this state-of-the-art hotel includes a signature mid-century modern 17-story tower added in the mid-’60s with a rotating penthouse lounge used for special events. There’s a large ballroom for the vendors, a separate ballroom for symposiums and the Friday night main event, plus lush grounds and multiple pools. It also has a prime location just east of the Intracoastal Waterway, adjacent to Port Everglades and not far from Fort Lauderdale’s famous beach.

* A three-peat of the Tiki Tower Takeover. Hosted by one of the spirits world’s most high-profile spokesmen, Ian “Rum Ambassador” Burrell, this one-of-a-kind cocktail party held in the Pier Top Ballroom at Pier 66 is not to be missed. Bartenders from high-profile bars from around the world will serve signature cocktails while guests enjoy hors d’oeuvres, musical entertainment and a one-of-a-kind experience in the iconic 17th-floor revolving lounge. Participating bars are Dirty Dick (France), Nu Lounge Bar (Italy), Three Dots and a Dash (Chicago), and Slowly Shirley (New York City).
* Atomic Grog preview

MORE HUKILAU LIVE COVERAGE: Recap, news, photos and video

* More Tiki bars from across the country will be popping up all over The Hukilau at two special events on Friday: The daytime Rum Island Pool Party and evening High Tide Party. Villagers can enjoy expertly crafted cocktails from Flask & Cannon (Jacksonville), Hidden Harbor (Pittsburgh), Pagan Idol (San Francisco), the Sip ‘n Dip Tiki Lounge (Great Falls, Mont.), S.O.S. Tiki Bar (Atlanta), and UnderTow (Phoenix).

* Back to Tiki school: There will be many chances to learn new skills amid the revelry. Okole Maluna Cocktail Academy classes will feature bartenders from many of the participating bars giving lessons on “What Just One Rum Can’t Do,” “The Art and Science of Tiki Garnish,” “On the First Day God Made the Daiquiri” and “Pineapple Paradise.” Two South Florida artists – Tom Fowner and Will Anders, will host craft classes. And performers from The Mai-Kai will give lessons on dancing the hula and playing the ukulele. Burrell, the founder of the UK RumFest, will also educate villagers with his symposium, The History of Rum in 10 Cocktails.

MORE HUKILAU LIVE COVERAGE: Recap, news, photos and video

* Live music and DJs every nignt, including The Surfrajettes from Canada, The Hula Girls from Southern California, Stolen Idols from Tampa, The Mermers from Gainesville, Fla., plus South Florida’s Skinny Jimmy Stingray and Slip and the Spinouts. California’s King Kukulele will return for his 16th year as on-stage host and emcee.

* Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid will perform in her native habitat, The Wreck Bar at the nearby B Ocean Resort. Marina and her pod of aquaticats will perform two special swim shows exclusively for The Hukilau in the pool at the beachside hotel, made famous as the Yankee Clipper in the iconic Spring Break film Where the Boys Are. The newly renovated porthole bar is the home of their weekly shows throughout the year. The B Ocean Resort is also serving as the official secondary hotel of The Hukilau.

Press coverage
* The Hukilau offers unique insight into the latest Tiki cocktail trends (Miami New Times)
* The Hukilau and a tour of The Mai-Kai’s dining room kitchen bar (The Hula Girls)

Representatives of The Hukilau at The Mai-Kai present a check from the "See Aloha" charity efforts to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association on June 29 in The Mai-Kai's outdoor gardens. (Atomic Grog photo)
Representatives of The Hukilau at The Mai-Kai present a check from the “See Aloha” charity efforts to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association on June 29 in The Mai-Kai’s outdoor gardens. (Atomic Grog photo)

The Hukilau’s charity efforts raise more than $5,000

The Hukilau’s “See Aloha” efforts – which included a drawing, silent auction and unique Mystery Drink presentation – raised more than $5,000 for two South Florida charities. As of late June, the total raised was an unofficial $5,677.50, with possibly more to come. Donations are being made to the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s education foundation, and the Miami Dade Reef Guard Association’s mooring buoy project. Money was also donated to aid Mai-Kai fire dancer Mileto to bring his business back from disaster after all his paddleboard gear was stolen.

The education foundation of the FRLA works with more than 200 Florida high schools to prepare students for a career in hospitality. Reef Guard aids the installation and maintenance of mooring buoys, allowing divers and fisherman to enjoy reefs without damaging them with their anchors.

The Hukilau: June 7-11, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and The Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.
* | Facebook: Page and Group | Twitter | Instagram


June 10 – Shag the Store Seventh Anniversary Print Release Party in Palm Springs. The original store dedicated to the art of Josh Agle (aka Shag) will feature the artist signing prints and merchandise, the unveiling of “At The Peppermint Lounge,” complimentary cocktails, and a Shag Mini-Print with any purchase.
At The Peppermint Lounge by ShagAt The Peppermint Lounge by Shag.

June 10 – Tiki Makeke at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach, Calif. More than 60 vendors selling their wares, plus authentic Polynesian music and hula dancers, live bands, food and drinks, plus more. Live music by The Tiki Creeps and the Ding Dong Devils.

June 17 – The Lava Luau in Carrollton, Texas. A family-friendly traditional luau in the city’s downtown square featuring live music, vendors, contests, festive food and hula dancers.

June 17 – The Original Tiki Market Place in Garden Grove, Calif. Featuring vendors, live Hawaiian entertainment, food, friends, and more at the Garden Grove Elks Lodge.

June 18 – Surfin’ Sundays at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum. A free, all-ages summer concert series at the Huntington Beach Pier in Southern California.
Surfin' Sundays at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum

June 18-22 – Dallas Tiki Week featuring cocktail competitions, history lessons and more resources for bartenders. Presented by the USBG Dallas Chapter.
* Press coverage: In landlocked Dallas, Tiki cocktail culture is on the rise

********************* SPOTLIGHT EVENT *********************

June 22-25 – Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno, Italy. The 12th edition of the king of all surf music fests attracts bands from around the world for four days of concerts, seminars and attractions on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. All events are open to all ages. Kids and families are welcome.

Surfer Joe Summer Festival

Surfer Joe highlights

* The Woodstock of surf music brings together an amazing lineup of instrumental guitar bands from around the world, including: Arno De Dea & The Clockwor Wizards (France), Bamboogie Injections (Russia), The Hicadoolas (Germany), El Ray (Denmark), The’s (Japan), Los Freneticos (Argentina), Los Fantasticos (UK), The Akulas (Belgium), The Illuminators (Sweden), The Kingargoolas (Brazil), and Surfer Joe himself (Italy). Representing the birthplace of surf will be American bands Insect Surfers, The Huntington Cads, Jason Lee & The R.I.P. Tides, The Tomorrowmen, Black Flamingos, Link Protrudi & The Jaymen, and Randy Holden. Bands play all four nights, with DJs spinning after the live music.
* Seminars will include “Link Wray and the Pre-Surf Era” with Rudi Protrudi, and “The Fender IV and the ’60s Surf Scene” with Randy Holden.

* There will be a special meet and greet with artist Josh Agle (aka Shag), who created custom artwork for the festival (see above).
* Tiki cocktails will be served by Italy’s Luau Tiki Bar and there will be live Tiki carving by artists from Germany and Switzerland.
* For the many surf music fans who can’t make it to Italy for the festival, North Sea Surf Radio will be broadcasting online around the clock from Surfer Joe. Catch concerts, interviews and special programs hosted by NSSR DJs at

More photos: Gallery from ArnyZona Photography

Official sites: | Facebook | Surf Guitar 101


June 23-25 – Mucho Caliente at The Reef in Palm Springs. A weekend of Tiki and lounge with live entertainment and the release of the Black Pearl mug at the new bar in the vintage Caliente Tropics resort. Artist Doug Horne will also be on hand to release The Reef’s first original print.
Mucho Caliente

********************* SPOTLIGHT EVENT *********************

June 23-26 – Ohana: Luau At The Lake at The Tiki Resort, Lake George, N.Y. Billed as “the biggest little event in Tiki,” the flagship event of the Fraternal Order Of Moai is sold out, as usual. Those lucky attendees who snagged hotel rooms and passes to this ninth annual gathering in upstate New York will be treated to three days of music, cocktails and ‘ohana in a classic Polynesian setting.

Ohana: Luau At The Lake

Ohana: Luau At The Lake highlights

* The Tiki Resort in Lake George is an attraction in and of itself. The classic 1950s-era Polynesian-themed motor inn features an exotic vaulted lobby with vintage lobby bar, the Waikiki Supper Club with authentic South Seas show, plus grounds and a pool decorated with faux palms and vintage tikis. It creates the perfect vibe for the festivities.
* A wide variety of bands and DJs from around the country. Waitiki, The Surfrajettes, 9th Wave, Lara Hope and The Ark-Tones, Bamboo Saxotica, and The Coconut Monkeys will peform throughout the weekend. MC Jet Sterling will once again host the festivities, while Brother Cleve, DJ Tikinaut, and Swankenstein’s Poolside Voodoo Boogaloo will be spinning Tiki tunes.
* Check the schedule for performance times

The exclusive poster designed by Shag for Ohana: Luau at the LakeThe exclusive poster designed by Shag for Ohana: Luau at the Lake.

* Shag (aka the artist Josh Agle), who designed an exclusive Ohana poster and artwork, is making his first appearance at the event.
* An authentic Polynesian luau is the highlight of Saturday’s activities featuring kalua pig and all the fixings, slow cooked all day in traditional Hawaiian style. During the feast, hula and fire dancers from the Pearl of Paradise Polynesian Dinner Review will dazzle guests.
* The room crawl and cocktail contest gives the FOM’s many talented mixologists a chance to show off their creations. Participants receive prizes from the event sponsors, which include Patron Tequilla and Pyrat Rum.

Ohana: Luau at the Lake 2017 event mug, designed by Shag and sculpted by Squid

* The official event mug, designed by Shag and sculpted by Squid, is exclusive to Ohana attendees. The mug, called Maka’ala, is based on the giant mask on The Tiki Resort’s A-frame. It’s called Maka’ala (Hawaiian for “watchful eye”) since he overlooks all of Ohana from his perch on the wall of The Tiki Resort.
* The annual silent auction, with all proceed donated to the FOM’s national charity, the Easter Island Foundation.

Official sites: Fraternal Order Of Moai | Facebook
* Past Atomic Grog coverage

********************* SPOTLIGHT EVENT *********************

June 30-July 2 – Tiki Kon: Caribbean Castaway sets sail for the West Indies to explore the tropical origins of rum and revel in the vintage music, dance and color of the region. The 15th annual event returns to the Red Lion on the River hotel (on the shores off the Columbia) in Portland, Ore., for three nights of live music, a banquet dinner and floor show, vendors and artists from around the country, informative and entertaining symposiums, cocktails, dining and more.

Tiki Kon 2017

Tiki Kon highlights

* Eclectic music and themed entertainment, including the Friday Night Surf & Turf Show featuring The ‘Verb, Saturday’s Banquet Dinner and Show featuring exotica/lounge group Lushy, and the Saturday Night Gala Show featuring traditional Cuban orchestra Melao de Cuba. Live surf and hot-rod music will also be featured in the Island Marketplace, where vendors and artisans from around the world will be selling their wares; and the Aloha Oe Finale Party at House Spirits Distillery.

* Storytelling in Design, a walk-through the history and development of Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland Hotel. Blair Reynolds (owner of B.G. Reynolds bar syrups and Tiki bar Hale Pele in Portland) will be joined by Disney Imagineer Brandon Kleyla, known as the “father of Trader Sam’s”, for an exclusive look at never-before-seen photos, plus inside stories and discussion of how to develop and display your own story in your home Tiki bar.

* “Our Man in Havana: A Visual Tour of the City’s Faded Charms” with Sven Kirsten, a rare Tiki Kon appearance by the author of Tiki Pop and The Book of Tiki. He’ll talk about the two months he spent in Cuba in 2007 and 2015, showing off a colorful collection of photos of the mid-century modern and tropical art deco architecture, all surrounded by vintage American cars.

* “Pop/CounterPop: Tiki Hits Today’s Pop Culture,” a panel discussion on the rise of Tiki culture in the modern era. Moderator Blair Reynolds will be joined by Brandon Giraldez (Tiki mug maker GeekiTikis), author Sven Kirsten and Disney Imagineer Brandon Kleyla (Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar) for a lively discussion of how Tiki has gone mainstream in today’s pop culture and media.

* Rum Class with Martin Cate, author of Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki and one of the most successful Tiki bar owners in the world. Guests will take a rumbustious journey through the islands to learn about the raw materials, production, and aging differences that make up Caribbean rums. Of course, rum samples will allow them to taste the differences.

* The longest-running home Tiki bar tour of its kind. The Sunday Brunch and Bar Deluxe Tour on Sunday includes stops at two commercial establishments (The Alibi and Hale Pele) in addition to the traditional home bar crawl at some of the country’s most dedicated amateur Tiki enthusiasts. Only for the hearty, this marathon bar crawl runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Official sites: | Facebook | Twitter
* Past Atomic Grog coverage



First Thursday – Otto’s Grotto at Forbidden Island in Alameda, Calif. Tiki Oasis mastermind and DJ Otto von Stroheim spins his favorite exotic tunes.

June 3 – Unsteady Freddie’s Surf-Rock Shindig at Otto’s Shrunken Head in New York City.

June 13 – Coconut Club Nights at Clifton’s Pacific Seas in Los Angeles. A mystical evening of elaborate Tiki-inspired cocktails, delicious plates and amusements.

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.


Tiki Oasis 2017


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. 12-13 – The Hula Hop in Columbus, Ohio.

Aug. 25-27 – Asbury Park Surf Music Festival on the New Jersey shore.

Sept. 8 – California Rum Festival in San Francisco.

Sept. 16 – Makahiki: A Night of Tiki in Indianapolis.

Sept 30 – New York Rum Festival in New York City.

Oct. 14-15 – The RumFest: London and London Cocktail Week on Oct. 2-8.

Oct. 19-22 – Circa Caliente at the Caliente Tropics resort (formerly Mod Palm Springs). [Atomic Grog coverage]

More events coming soon!
Return to The Tiki Times main page

Make our calendar better
Feel free to share events via email or Facebook message (special events only, no regular band gigs or general bar promotions).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.