Party Polynesian

If the extent of your knowledge in tiki-culture is the talking parrot ride at Disney World, it’s time to wise up. For the past seven years a band of so-called tikiphiles have gathered in the City of Fort Lauderdale for what has become the premiere celebration of Polynesian Pop. The Hukilau 2009 isn’t just an event for beachcombers and mixologists to mingle. It’s an admiration of Florida’s past. “America’s vacationland was once a mecca for all things tiki,” says Brian Crum, entertainment coordinator for Hukilau and drummer for surf rock band, the Intoxicators. “The event celebrates urban archeology in a sense.” This explains why a large portion of the festival is held at the famous Mai-Kai, one of the last tiki treasures. Crum continues, “But, it’s also a lot of happy people with rum.”

This year’s Hukilau features a Mai-Tai Paternity Test seminar with mixology author, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry as well as an exploration in exotica music from Jeff Chenault of Tiki Magazine. After you’re done with class, you can jam out to the surf sounds of Los Straitjackets and the Intoxicators or sip your cocktail to the jazz of the Stolen Idols, among other music acts. Throughout the weekend you’ll also find a tiki art show, mermaid performances, and a screening of the first “Tikimentary”.

The dress code is casual of course, but a Hawaiian shirt is recommended. Hukilau runs Thursday through Sunday at locations across Fort Lauderdale. Events start at $20, with a $70 weekend pass available. You’ll be able to pick up your tickets at Bahia Cabana Resort, located at 3001 Harbor Dr., Fort Lauderdale. Visit for complete schedule times and locations.
June 11-14, 2009

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Mike Sauer