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Tiki zombies will feast at The Mai-Kai’s Hulaween 2019: Luau of the Living Dead

The Mai-Kai’s Hulaween, one of the highlights of South Florida’s Halloween party season, will feature a festive feast for the living and dead on Friday, Oct. 25. The 11th annual bash is titled “Luau of the Living Dead,” a theme befitting the historic Polynesian restaurant that will celebrate its 63rd anniversary at year’s end.

NEW: Hulaween 2019 recap & photos
The living dead came to party at The Mai-Kai’s Hulaween 2019 luau

Hulaween 2019: Luau of the Living Dead - artwork by Pooch Artwork by Mike Pucciarelli (aka Pooch)

*** Friday, Oct. 25 – Hulaween 2019: Luau of the Living Dead featuring Slip and the Spinouts at The Mai-Kai. Sponsored by Appleton Rum. Free admission. Happy hour 5 to 7 p.m., plus drink specials all night. Live music and costume contest in The Molokai bar, 7 p.m.-midnight.
The Atomic Grog: Past Hulaween coverage | The Tiki Times events calendar
Hulaween 2018: See recap and photo gallery below

The baroque bacchanal begins with a full two hours of happy hour prices on food and drinks, plus retro Halloween tunes in The Molokai lounge. Once the spirits are satiated, roots rockers Slip and the Spinouts take the stage, turn up the volume and put the party into overdrive.

Modern Caribbean Rum
Slip and the Spinouts get into a groove as Hulaween 2018 kicks into high gear.
Slip and the Spinouts get into a groove as Hulaween 2018 kicks into high gear.

The band – led by guitarist/vocalist Slip Mahoney – will unearth its deadly mix of rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly classics, with lethal original tunes liberally sprinkled throughout three sets. The Atomic Grog will also provide special Halloween music during happy hour and between sets. Doors open at 5, so get there early to get a good seat for the musical mayhem and one of the most creative costume contests in the area.

Participants always come up with wild and wacky costumes, often themed to Tiki and The Mai-Kai but also paying tribute to classic movie characters and Halloween archetypes. The contest takes place around 10 p.m. This year’s prizes are:
* First: $300 in cash, a bottle of Appleton Estate 21 rum signed by master blender Joy Spence, and a Hulaween 2019 poster signed by artist Mike Pucciarelli.
* Second: $200 in cash, Appleton merchandise, signed Hulaween poster.
* Third: $100 in cash, Appleton merchandise, signed Hulaween poster.

Appleton Rum is a perennial sponsor, providing not only prizes but also cocktail samples during the party. Spence, a legend in the rum world, signed a bottle of her 21-year-old rum that will be one of the first-place prizes during her August tasting and Appleton Estate presentation at The Mai-Kai. Click here to see full coverage and photos from this special event.

The Molokai Maidens welcome Hulaween 2018 guests.
The Molokai Maidens welcome Hulaween 2018 guests.

Appleton, a venerable brand from Jamaica, is a key rum in many of the acclaimed cocktails at The Mai-Kai. You can find it in more than a dozen drinks, including the classic Mai Tai and deliciously deadly Shark Bite. The latter (plus the high-octane Jet Pilot) will be available at half price all night long as part of the bar’s nightly drink specials.

The Molokai, which was designed as a turn-of-the-century seaport saloon featuring actual set pieces from the classic 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty, boasts 51 specialty drinks and extensive menu of small and large plates. Pair your potent rum drink with a pupu platter and other vintage apps, sushi and sashimi, elaborate salads, and modern tapas including beef sliders and fish tacos. If you so desire, you can also adjourn to The Mai-Kai’s secluded dining rooms or take in the acclaimed Polynesian Islander Revue, the longest-running authentic South Seas stage show in the United States, including Hawaii.

This year’s Hulaween poster was created by Mike “Pooch” Pucciarelli, an accomplished fine artist and longtime owner of Altered State Tattoo in Boynton Beach. The artwork was adapted from the 2005 painting “Big Bob’s Dream Vacation,” which is available as a print on Signed copies of the Hulaween 2019 poster are available in The Mai-Kai’s gift shop, the Trading Post.

Pooch also provided the artwork for the Hulaween posters in 2012 and 2014. Past posters have also featured notable Tiki artists Robert Jimenez and Fred Lammers.
* Click here to see all the past artwork
* More on Pooch: | Artist of the Week | Take 5 interview | Altered State Tattoo anniversary

Costumed revelers enjoy The Mai-Kai's famous cocktails at Hulaween 2018.
Costumed revelers enjoy The Mai-Kai’s famous cocktails at Hulaween 2018.

As usual, Hulaween promises a vintage Halloween experience unlike any other in South Florida. One of the most elaborate restaurants built in the United States in 1956, The Mai-Kai remains one of the world’s quintessential exotic dining and drinking experiences, with its lavishly decorated dining rooms and outdoor torch-lit Tiki gardens with waterfalls and giant carvings.

Hulaween is an annual highlight among the restaurant’s many special events, which also include The Hukilau, a five-day celebration of Polynesian Pop culture held every June. The annual anniversary party is held every Dec. 28, and more events are on the drawing board for 2020.

The Mai-Kai is at 3599 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, on the west side between Commercial and Oakland Park boulevards. Call (954) 563-3272 for more information or to make dinner reservations. Valet and paid self-parking.
* Official site | Trading Post | Twitter
* Facebook: Official page | Friends of The Mai-Kai group
* Instagram: Restaurant | The Molokai bar | Trading Post
* Mai-Kai history: Book and official website | Facebook page
* Google Maps: Explore The Mai-Kai in 3-D


Back from the Dead: Hulaween turns 10 with another ghoulish gathering

The Molokai bar and The Mai-Kai came alive with the living dead as another full house of more than 100 costume-clad revelers celebrated the 10th annual Hulaween on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018.

See below: Jump to the photo gallery

Medusa and the Stone Soldier wowed the judges in the costume contest, taking first prize at Hulaween 2018.
Medusa and the Stone Soldier wowed the judges in the costume contest, taking first prize at Hulaween 2018.

South Florida rockabilly favorites Slip and the Spinouts kept the party going into the wee hours for the eighth time in 10 years as an assortment of creatively-costumed partygoers walked away with $600 in cash and prizes in the annual costume contest.

The bar was decked out in Halloween decor and the Molokai Girls got into the spirit of the event with their own ghoulish get-ups.

Guitarist/vocalist Slip Mahoney and his band – bassist Rodney Simioni and drummer Mike Loschiavo – were reincarnated as a bunch of salty dogs going by the name Slip and the Sea Men.

The costume contest winners and prizes were:
* First: Medusa and the Stone Soldier ($300 plus exclusive movies and hand-sculped mask from Severin Films)
* Second: Coral Head ($200 plus T-shirt from Severin Films)
* Third: Deadpool and X-Force ($100 plus T-shirt from Severin Films)
* Fourth: Angel

Hulaween 2018: Back from the Dead - 10th Anniversary Reunion

Appleton Rum was on hand as usual to provide sample cocktails and cash prizes to the winners. New sponsor Severin Films / Drive-In-Sanity Films provided ghastly giveaways themed to its cult B-movies.

The Atomic Grog also returned as media sponsor and background music programmer for the seventh straight year. The exclusive artwork for the 10th anniversary was created by South Florida artist Robert Jimenez (aka Zerostreet and Tiki Tower).

Jimenez also created the 2017 event artwork and is known for his Tiki, pulp and monster art. Check out his sinister sketches on his Etsy page and Topps Garbage Pail Kids sketch cards on eBay, among may other cool items.

Another underground artistic element was provided by a new sponsor. Drive-in Sanity Films owner David Sehring was in the house to promote the Blu-ray release of The Blood Island Collection, a set of 1960s B-movie horror films including the notorious Beast of Blood. The movies were produced in the Philippines for the U.S. drive-in market.

A special cocktail, The Mad Doctor's Green Blood Potion, was presented at Hulaween 2018 at The Mai-Kai
A special cocktail, The Mad Doctor’s Green Blood Potion, was presented at Hulaween 2018 at The Mai-Kai.

Many tributes to the films were featured at Hulaween, including Beast of Blood swizzle sticks from Royer, custom printed T-shirts, official Beast masks, and a real-life “Beastie” cut-out that was exhibited in The Mai-Kai gardens. Mai-Kai owner Dave Levy and select guests were also treated to The Mad Doctor’s Green Blood Potion, a special cocktail created by Jason Alexander of Devil’s Reef in Tacoma, Wash.

The Mad Doctor’s Green Blood Potion
(By Jason Alexander of Devil’s Reef)

* 1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
* 1 ounce fresh pineapple juice
* 1/2 ounce orgeat
* 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
* 1/4 ounce blue curacao
* 2 ounces lightly aged rum (such as Appleton Estate Signature)
* 4 dashes Angostura bitters

Shake or pulse blend with crushed ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass that already has a half-ounce of grenadine in the bottom.


Hulaween 2018 photo gallery
(Click on thumbnails to see larger images or to view as slideshow)

Photos by The Atomic Grog and The Mai-Kai

Hulaween 2018 photos on Facebook
The Atomic Grog’s gallery | The Mai-Kai’s gallery

Photos: 10 years of Hulaween
NEW: See some of the most creative costumes from 2009 through 2018 (Facebook)


More Hulaween recaps, photos
* 2017: Monstrous mayhem at the ninth annual Hulaween party
* 2016: A hauntingly good time at The Mai-Kai’s 8th annual Hulaween party
* 2015: The undead get lively at The Mai-Kai’s seventh annual Hulaween
* 2014: A ghastly good time at The Mai-Kai’s sixth annual Hulaween party
* 2013: Partygoers raise hell at The Mai-Kai’s fifth annual Hulaween
* 2012: Hulaween was hoppin’ all night at The Mai-Kai
* See all the past Hulaween coverage
More photos on Facebook: 2011 | 2010 | 2009

More on The Mai-Kai on The Atomic Grog
* The Okole Maluna Society: The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide
* Demerara rum flows at The Mai-Kai’s magical retro event featuring The Atomic Grog
* The Mai-Kai updates bar menu, adds classic ‘lost’ cocktail
* The Atomic Grog explores Tiki cocktail history through the menus of The Mai-Kai
* The Mai-Kai is here to stay: 10 reasons why we love the historic South Fla. restaurant
* The Mai-Kai turns 60 with special history presentations, celebration
* New giant carved Tiki added to The Mai-Kai’s outdoor garden
* ‘King Kai’ leads procession of new Tikis into The Mai-Kai
* More Mai-Kai history | All Mai-Kai posts

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