Huuu-keeee-looowww. Sound it out and say it with us. Doesn’t it just roll off your tongue ever so beautifully? Traditionally, the Hukilau is a Hawaiian festival at which a large net is cast into sea so the villagers can work together to pull the catch to shore. The feast that follows signifies the spirit of family and community, or ‘ohana. Down here in South Florida, we might not be casting any fishing nets, but we will bring the tikiphile community together in our own way. Back for its 11th year, the annual Hukilau extravaganza invades the shore Thursday to Sunday for a weekend filled with events for tiki enthusiasts. Running daily (and nightly!), this four-day tiki extravaganza is jam-packed with a slew of events. The official kick-off party begins at the Best Western Oceanside Hotel (1180 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) at 6 p.m. with performances by the Intoxicators, Pablus, and Angie Pontani. As the sun sets, the party will keep on going with the Cadillac Bombers at the Mai-Kai (3599 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale). On Friday is the Nashville surf group the Denny Martian Orchestra, which will perform at the Bahia Cabana Beach Resort (3001 Harbor Drive, Fort Lauderdale). But it’s not only about boozing on fancy cocktails and shaking your bum to the beat. There’s also an assortment of educational symposiums featuring Sven Kristen on tiki archaeology and artist Paul Roe on the importance of tattoos in Samoan culture. But for those of us who are into tiki drinking, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry will be luring in the crowds on Saturday as he talks about the infamous “Revenge of the Zombie” cocktail at the Mai-Kai. Also not to be missed is the fire-eating mermaid Marina and her mermaid gals at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Sheraton Hotel’s Wreck Bar (1140 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets start at $25 for single events and go up to $170 for an all-access pass that covers all four days of events, including symposiums. For the full schedule and more information, visit thehukilau.com.
April 19-22, 2012