Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 7:48 a.m.
Aloha, South Florida. This June Fort Lauderdale's Mai Kai will once again be hosting the annual Polynesian pop-lovers paradise, The Hukilau.
This year marks the 13th annual Hukilau, a four-day tiki fest that draws all manner of tikiphiles from across the globe to kick back and revel in all that retro era culture including live music, dancing, symposiums, art shows -- and more -- served up alongside some of the world's best rum punch cocktails.
The Hukilau as we South Floridians know it began in 2003 when the event founders decided to move their super-sized tiki celebration from California to Fort Lauderdale. Otherwise known as "Tiki Kiliki" the Hukilau creator said he was inspired to create a tiki celebration similar to the Tiki Oasis -- currently the world's largest tiki event held in San Diego, California -- a festival designed to celebrate Hawaiian and Polynesian pop culture while also honoring one of our nation's historic tiki bars.
A hukilau is a old traditional Hawaiian festival that was held in the fishing villages across the island chain. Back in the day, fishermen would cast large nets into the ocean, trapping schools of fish for the villagers to slowly pull ashore. The feast that followed was a celebration of the spirit of family and community, also called 'ohana.
Today, the Hukilau event here in South Florida represents a metaphorical net cast out over the entire world, bringing lovers of Polynesian pop (another world for extreme tiki culture love) together for a special celebration. As always, the Mai Kai -- South Florida's own tiki bar and restaurant originally established in 1956 -- will be hosting the event.
This year's Hukilau begins Thursday, June 6 and runs through Sunday, June 9. Expect a four-day weekend extravaganza complete with a unique line-up of live music, symposiums, guest speakers and special guests from the Polynesian pop world. The event is known for its colorful displays of tiki "exotica" including retro art work, surfer music, rum-soaked cocktails and Polynesian dance shows.
Festival passes range from $27 for Thursday night's kickoff party, to $187 for an all-access pass that includes entry to all four days of events, including the symposiums. A special "Welcome Aboard Package" includes exclusive merchandise, priority seating at symposiums, a private cocktail party and sneak peek at the Tiki Treasures Bazaar and art show, rum tastings, and more. Symposium prices are $20 per person, except for the always-popular Jeff "Beachbum" Berry presentation, which is $38. To purchase tickets go here
, and to see the event schedule go here
To learn more about the Hukilau visit the event website and Facebook page, or call the Mai Kai at 954-563-3272.
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