The website for the Hukilau was launched just a couple of days ago, and tickets are now available for purchase! The event — the fifth year of Hukilau — will take place October 5-8, 2006, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The annual Hukilau event has always been eagerly anticipated, but the interest in this year’s event has been especially high, as it is also the celebration of the 50th year of the Mai-Kai, which is without a doubt the finest of all Polynesian Pop palaces. Those who have already experienced and fallen in love with the Mai-Kai are saying they won’t miss this event, and those who have been wanting to make it to the Tiki Mecca are making this the year.
A new addition to the Hukilau roster this year is a series of special presentations by tiki luminaries:
- Sven Kirsten – The author of The Book of Tiki will be presenting a preview of his next book, with his talk “Tiki Modern and the Wild World of Witco”
- Jeff “Beachbum” Berry – The author of the Grog Log, Intoxica! and Taboo Table will be presenting “Mixology 101: The Beachbum on the Beachcomber” – a look at the drinks of Don the Beachcomber, complete with live mixing and drink samples for the audience
- Geoff Sundstrom – The Florida resident, tiki collector and urban archaeologist will be talking about the unique history of Polynesian Pop in the Sunshine State, complete with rare views of items from his extensive collection of postcards, brochures and other items
- Jeff Chenault – Music historian and Exotica DJ Jeff Chenault will be offering reflections on the history of Exotica music, from its genesis to today’s performers
Plus, the Mai-Kai family is making available one-of-a-kind images and items from their archives to create a special exhibit, “The Mai-Kai: A Look at the Past.” This exhibit will be on display adjacent to the Tiki Bazaar, where unqiue tiki items will be on sale from a variety of vendors (including the event mug, created this year by Munktiki!).
Musically, Hukilau will not disappoint, either — past favorites I Belli di Waikiki are returning, all the way from Italy, and in a very special performance, California band APE will be joined by their own hero and inspiration, the great Billy Mure. Other performers will include the Haole Kats, the Intoxicators, Combo Mahalo and Selector Lopaka. Non-musical performances that are not-to-be-missed: Charles Phoenix will be giving a slide presentation (Charles was a breakout hit last year), and burlesque by Torchy Taboo.
The centerpiece of the event is of course a magical evening spent at the Mai-Kai itself. Each year, the Mai-Kai staff (which is huge — large enough to form not just a softball team, but an entire league) looks forward to this event, and they really put their heart into making the night special for their guests, even creating special dance routines just for that night. For many who have spent time at the Mai-Kai during Hukilau, it is the very definition of “enchantment.” They really go all-out, and with this being their 50th anniversary, it will be rarefied air that night.
Tickets are going quickly, especially for the special guest speakers, where room for attendees is limited. Everything you need to know to get yourself to Hukilau is at the website — this year, there is a handy-dandy Hukilau To-Do List, to walk you through getting your tickets, your lodging and your Mai-Kai reservations. I was extraordinarily honored to be asked by Tiki Kiliki to do this year’s website, and I’m so glad I finally get to spill the event details! Tiki Kiliki will be keeping a blog on the Hukilau website, be sure to stay tuned to hear more about this once-in-a-lifetime event.