About the Hukilau
Sponsor the Hukilau | Show Others Your Support | The Hukilau History
The Hukilau Crew | Media | Friends of the Hukilau
Sponsor the Hukilau
Want to get involved in The10th Annual Hukilau?
We offer an array of opportunities that will get your company noticed by thousands of Tikiphiles from all over the world:
- Your Products Sold at Vending Space in the Newly Expanded Tiki Treasures Bazaar
- Your Company Named as a Special Event Sponsor including our Kickoff Party at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale - a Fundraiser for the Museum's Oceanic Collection, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry's Rumposium with 4 of the top Rum authorities from around the globe, Master Mixologist Challenge and The Hukilau's Famous Room Crawl!
- Your Ad in the Official Hukilau Event Program!
- Your Product Giveaways at The Hukilau Events!
- Your Product Showcased at The Hukilau!
- Your Company Featured in The Hukilau Press and Social Networking!
- Your Logo Featured on The Hukilau Promotional Materials sent all over the world!
- Your Logo Featured on The Hukilau Website!
- Your Message/Images in Email Blasts to 6,000 highly Targeted Tiki lovers on our mailing list!
- Your Advertising Banner on The Hukilau Website!
- Your Promotional Item in 500 Arrival Aloha Packs!
- Your Product Featured in Drink Demos!
- Your Product Featured at Sampling and Tasting
Space is limited. Sign up early for best placement. Custom packages available, combining several benefits that best suit your company’s needs.
For inquiries for Hukilau sponsorship, vending and/or advertising contact:
at 415-566-8628 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show Others Your Support
Help The Hukilau by showing your support.
Just right click on each image you want and select "save picture as" and post em' where you can on your blogs, Facebook, your website, etc...
We will also be posting Posters and Animated Web Banners
so please keep checking back with us.
The Hukilau History
A Hukilau is a traditional Hawaiian festival held in the fishing villages of old. A large net is cast into the sea to herd fish then the villagers slowly pull the net to the shore. The feast that follows is meant to emphasize the spirit of family and community, or 'ohana. Our mainland Hukilau is a metaphorical net thrown out to the entire world, bringing lovers of "Polynesian Pop" or "Tiki" culture together for our own special celebration.
Our Hukilau began when a few people on the Tiki Central message board discussed gathering at Trader Vic’s in Atlanta. Tiki Kiliki (Co-founder, Producer and Organizer) and Swanky (Co-Founder & former Organizer -- click here to read his bio) began planning what is now "The Hukilau" -- an annual event celebrating Hawaiian and Polynesian Pop culture while honoring a historic Tiki bar and location. The reaction and excitement was phenomenal! The first event held in 2002, honoring Trader Vic’s in Atlanta, GA (est. 1976), was three days packed full of entertainment and events. The crowds poured in and all venues sold out. We were also shocked and amazed that Sven Kirsten, King Kukulele and others from California were willing to make the trip and attend the weekend, making it so special with their performances and participation. The experience sparked a fire to do more, thus an annual Tiki gala was born!
The Hukilau saw a change of location in 2003 when we were encouraged by friends to honor the amazing Mai-Kai in Ft. Lauderdale, FL (est. 1956). The response was overwhelming with attendees from all over the world and once again the event was extremely successful. The Hukilau also invited the Italian band I Belli Di Waikiki for their first U.S. performance – the event has never been the same!
In 2004, despite Hurricane Jeanne, the event hosted more than 800 guests. With yet another successful year under its belt, along with support from the Mai-Kai family, The Hukilau had found a permanent home. The appearance of Billy Mure was a stand out from 2004 – at age 86 he entertained everyone with his amazing guitar strings.
The Hukilau made history in 2005 as we assembled a 16-piece orchestra to play one of the greatest compositions of Exotica music ever recorded by the incomparable Robert Drasnin. The live performance of his LP, Voodoo, marked the first time the material had been played in its entirety since 1959. Attendees have described the experience as if they were transported back in time to the 1950s and were watching a live performance in one of the many Tiki palaces that used to grace almost every major city in America. 2005 also produced our largest attendance ever of more than 900 guests.
The Hukilau 2006 not only brought us the event’s fifth anniversary but also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Mai Kai. The amazing celebration not only attracted exceptional entertainment but for the first time at any Tiki event incredible seminars were offered to emphasize the importance of the evergrowing Tiki culture and history behind it. Jeff "Beachbum" Berry educated attendees about the art of the Polynesian cocktail, Sven Kirsten presented a slideshow on his book Tiki Modern, Florida Tiki Historian Geoff Sundstrom presented a slideshow of colorful images from Tiki palaces past and present in the Sunshine State and Jeff Chenault took everyone on a visual & musical tour of the greats in Exotica music. Charles Phoenix also charmed attendees with a historic and humorous journey through his vintage slideshow images - one of the highlights of the weekend!! Hundreds of historic photos and memorabilia from the Mai Kai’s archives were also on display throughout the entire weekend of the event at the Yankee Clipper hotel. The Hukilau saw the largest attendance yet with more than 1300 Tikiphiles as everyone came to celebrate event’s fifth anniversary and the Mai Kai's “50th” together!
Because of the notorious Florida hurricane season, The Hukilau 2007 saw a change of season as the event moved to June. We invited Robert Drasnin back to our stage as he performed live Voodoo II - again, the first time the album was played in its entirety. The Hukilau audience was memorized with each piece of music. This was also another year of exotic seminars with the return of Jeff "Beachbum" Berry and the debut of his book Sippin' Safari, James Teitelbaum took us on a visual tour with sites from his debut book Tiki Road Trip 2nd Edition, Jeff Chenault was again on hand to educate attendees about the history and sounds past & present of musicians keeping the island magic alive. Disney historian and artist Kevin Kidney presented his seminar on the history of Tiki through Disney's eyes and gave us a look into the Florida Orange Bird's history. 2007 also saw the very first "Sarong-O-Rama!" - a fashion show and revue of Tiki fashion evolution from the 1940's through today - a huge hit!!
The Hukilau 2008 garnered even more success as the event took place once again in June, its now permanent month of year. The Hukilau stage saw many new performers such as the Tikiyaki Orchestra from Los Angeles, The Martini Kings from Los Angeles and The Fisherman from NYC. Jeff "Beachbum" Berry returned for another amazing seminar featuring cocktail recipes of the Caribbean, historic Tiki carver and artist Bosko gave a seminar on the early days of Tiki in California and his journey through Polynesian Pop history and beyond. Bre-elle Ishtar returned with an encore year of Sarong-O-Rama -- a fashion show of vintage and current Hawaiiana and Kevin Kidney presented lots of eye candy with his "Tiki TV" seminar, highlighting some of the greatest vintage Tiki moments on the small screen. The addition of a Tiki Art Show curated by Harold Golen Gallery of Miami was a main destination for shoppers and art enthusisats – many featured artists had never shown on the East Coast before. One of the most anticipated moments was the event finale of Mike Skinner’s presentation on Tiki Architecture, full of several “eye-toxicating” images. Attendees had a hands-on lesson at the Mai-Kai looking at architectural drawings, renderings and plans for Tiki palaces now part of history. The Mai-Kai also shared some of their scrapbooks and Hukilau reproduced one of the Mai-Kai’s classic newsletters "Happy Talk" for everyone who attended the event finale. Closing out yet another wonderful year was the vintage Florida slide show from Charles Phoenix -- another incredibly successful and wonderful year!
The Hukilau 2009 was a non-stop good time with a first ever performance by Los Straitjackets. We also revisited a big hit from 2004 and sold tickets to sail the intracoastal waterways of Ft. Lauderdale aboard the Tikki Beach Boat. Jeff Berry was with us to tell us all about the history of the Mai Tai, Harold Golen Gallery hosted yet another Tiki Art Show, the Intoxicators!/Marina the Mermaid/Haole Kats/The Bikini Beachcombers gave amazing performances along with newcomers The Stolen Idols who stole the show with their incredible performance at the Mai-Kai. Duda Leite debuted his film “Tikimentary” to The Hukilau audiences with great enthusiasm – the first installment of his amazing documentary focused on and profiling Hukilau 2007 and other highlights from the Tiki community. The swingin’ hips of Candy Del Rio and Sable Syn Cyr captivated audiences as they never stopped go-going until after the event! DJ’s Lounge Laura Taylor and Laura of Miami played to crowds and for the very first time in The Hukilau history several rooms played host for The Room Crawl – a party and cocktails were literally taking place in rooms all over the host hotel – it was, by far, the highlight of the weekend. Despite the recession our numbers stayed strong and many agreed – this was the best Hukilau ever!!
The Hukilau 2010 was another success. We saw such sponsors as Seven Tiki Rum, Trader Vic’s, Trader Tiki’s Exotic Syrups, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park and Tiki Mundo. We returned to the Bahia Mar and had many new performers such as The Sweet Hollywaiians from Japan, The Woggles, The Neanderthals and for the very first time The Hukilau welcomed Shag. The Hukilau and Shag also produced for the very first time, a Shag Aloha shirt that featured Shag’s details of iconic images from the Mai-Kai and The Hukilau. Duda Leite debuted his new and improved “Tikimentary”, the long awaited world premiere of the “DVD of Tiki” took place and The Hukilau’s attendees were treated to an amazing symposium by Lu Vickers and The History of Weeki Wachee. Of course, the event would not be complete without our own mermaid - Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid made her showstopping performance at The Wreck Bar and highlighted performances throughout the weekend. Harold Golen Gallery stunned everyone with another great show of Tiki artists from around the globe and Sandra Carr and Bre-elle Ishtar (The Hukilau 1st mermaid) organized another incredible Sarong-O-Rama that showcased fashions both vintage and from local designers. The weekend would have not been complete without the return of Jeff “Beachbum” Berry and his symposium on the Suffering Bastard, the always wonderful sounds of The Intoxicators!, the shakes of our amazing dancers, hula hoopers, Walk the Plank from Atlanta, The Bikini Beachcombers, DJ’s Dr. Scopitone and Lounge Laura Taylor - it was non-stop and yet another successful year.
We have been so honored to have worked with such amazing entertainers and presenters over the years, some listed above and others mentioned here: Robert Drasnin, Waitiki, Denny Moynahan, Billy Mure, Haole Kats, King Kukulele, The Intoxicators, The Crazed Mugs, Laramie Dean, Marina the Mermaid, Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey, Polynesian Proud, Italy's I Belli Di Waikiki, Yma Sumac, The Fisherman, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Bosko, The Martini Kings, Tikiyaki Orchestra, Mike Skinner, Kevin Kidney, Sven Kirsten, James Teitelbaum, Charles Phoenix, filmmaker Duda Leite, The Bikini Beachcombers, Stolen Idols, Candy Del Rio, Billy Mure, Jeff Berry, Mike Skinner, The Disasternauts, Big Pineapple, UberEasy, Johnny Knox and Hi-Test, Slip and the Spinouts, the Penetrators, Torchy Taboo, the He'e Amakuas, the Delusionaires, Walk the Plank, filmaker Jochen Hirschfeld, The Sweet Hollywaiians, The Neanderthals, The Woggles, Lu Vickers, Lounge Laura Taylor, Dr. Scopitone, Tongo-hiti and Dames A’Flame and the Vodkanauts.
The Hukilau continues to grow and spread the Aloha spirit. There are so many people that assist in making it happen that it’s impossible to name all of them. We would very much like to thank our extended family at the Mai-Kai for welcoming us with open arms year after year: owners Dave Levy and Mrs. Kulani Thornton-Gelardi, and the beautiful and amazing choreographer Mireille Thornton who stated while looking at Hukilau guests enjoying themselves at the Mai-Kai during the event, "This is the way it used to be" – the single most proud moment of my life. Also, a special thanks to incredible support of Pia Dahlquist, Kern Mattei and each and every employee of the Mai-Kai, without whom the magic wouldn’t be the same. Special mention to my friend and amazing talent King Kukulele aka Denny Moynahan. He has been The Hukilau’s MC each and every year since the beginning. Thank you for your Aloha spirit and for keeping us in stitches!!
Past Hukilau Websites
The Hukilau Crew
Co-Creator, Co-Founder, Producer, Organizer
“10 Years, I really did not imagine that The Hukilau would reach the 10th year. This year means so much to me personally and it is my gift to the Tiki community and those that choose to spend 4 days of Polynesian Pop bliss with us in sunny Florida this June. When I began this journey the goal was to spread the Aloha spirit and promote the awareness of the classic Tiki style still in existence in the Southeast that for the most part begin to disappear in the 1970’s. Trader Vic’s Atlanta is an exception to that built in 1976 and still thriving, it was the location of the very first Hukilau and continues to be dear to my heart. I welcome you to join us for this very special year of celebration and of achievement. I can say without a doubt The Hukilau has stayed true to Tiki and has helped carved the way for other Tiki events to flourish, artists to showcase their wares, friends to meet and form lasting relationships and of course, be a part of the incredible Mai-Kai family for without whom, The Hukilau would have ended long ago. Sincerely, Christie J. White January 2011”
Tiki Kiliki, aka Christie J. White, felt the call of the islands as early as 6 years old as her time spent after school was in an antique store where the owner had vintage Hawaiian LPs on heavy rotation. She then became mesmerized with Polynesian Pop at the bright age of 13 when she purchased her first Tiki mug at a Salvation Army Thrift Store. Her need to surround herself with idols & relics from the past could only be shared one way -- the creation of The Hukilau, an annual event celebrating the classic era and resurgence of Polynesian Pop.
She has carried her Tiki Torch on the East Coast for 9 years producing Hukilau since 2002 and her sub-event, Tiki Torch Nights, for both Trader Vic’s in Atlanta, GA and Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale, FL. She has been quoted and/or featured in such magazines/media as Atomic Magazine, Tiki Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Fort Lauderdale Home, City Link Magazine, New Times Broward/Palm Beach, Sun-Sentinel, Creative Loafing Atlanta, The New York Times, Miami Herald and Barracuda Magazine, among others. When Trader Vic’s in Atlanta celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2006, Ms. Kiliki was the obvious choice for the hostess with the most-est. Her commitment to The Hukilau is undeniable as she strives each year to create an experience that every guest can take with them for a lifetime. Ms. Kiliki currently resides in a mid-century home located in Birmingham, AL where she lives with Coco and Joe, her 2 felines, and spends time mixing cocktails in her home bar - The Sunken Pearl. You can even make a Sunken Pearl yourself! Here’s Kiliki’s recipe – Okole Maluna!!
- 1 oz. Dark Jamaican Rum
- 1 oz. St. James Martinique Rum
- 1 ½ oz. fresh lime juice
- ½ oz. of cinnamon syrup
- ¼ oz. vanilla syrup
- Top Off with a shot of Bacardi 151
Fill a Double Old Fashioned with crushed ice, add all ingredients, except 151, and stir gently. Top off with the shot of 151 and garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick and fresh mint. I also have imitation pearls that I place at the bottom of the glass that are on a strand of wire so they don’t get gobbled up by anyone!
Amy Eggers (aka Orchid Wahine) is delighted to return to Hukilau '10 and help continue the revelry and tradition of this mainstay subculture event. Traveling from the outskirts of Washington, DC, where she produces and performs in a monthly burlesque show, she's honored to re-join the national ohana and celebrate all-things Hukilau, exotica and Polynesian Pop.
John Holley has been living in Ft. Lauderdale for only a year, after having spent 13 years in NYC and not wanting to suffer through another winter, he and his wife Melanie moved back to their home state and are thrilled to be amongst Palm Trees and "Gin clear" water, and it doesn't hurt to live 2 miles from the Mai Kai! John spent 4 years coordinating and managing events at Google's NYC Office and convinced them to build a Jungle Room in the office under his direction. Inspired by The King's own in Graceland, he made sure it had a water fall, Tiki Masks and comfy seating, but sadly the budget didn't allow for Witco. He now works for Koncept Events, A Destination Management Company here in Ft. Lauderdale. He loves SCUBA, fishing, reading, cooking and searching out Tiki Bars when traveling.
“Tiki Chris” Pinto
"Tiki Chris" Pinto is the author/editor of Tiki Lounge Talk, a web-lounge dedicated to remembering the kool stuff from the Atomic Age and beyond, from big band music to cocktails at the Tiki Bar. He's been writing for over 25 years, has had several plays produced, and has won awards for his creative efforts. During the 1990s he was producer/director of a highly successful traveling theater company in the Atlantic City area, StarDust Productions. A lover of all things retro, he enjoys working on his 1953 Chevy Belair Hot Rod, plays jazz tenor sax and clarinet, and is an avid collector of vintage memorabilia. He currently lives in South Florida with his wife Colleen, four birds, two cats, a dog and a Tiki Bar.
For more info visit TikiLoungeTalk.com.
Our On-Site coordinator, Dave "Basement Kahuna" Wolfe, is arguably one of the best kept secrets in the Tiki world as we know it. Born and raised in Georgia in relative isolation from the Tiki/Hawaiiana world, he discovered and fell in love with the style quite on his own in the early '90s and created a visionary Tiki world through sheer interest and obsession in his home before discovering kindred spirits in Tiki Central and in the pages of Sven Kirsten's Book Of Tiki. Far beyond his extraordinary devotion and passion for everything in the Tiki genre, his legendary acumen for uncovering bits of Tiki's glorious past in the form of artifacts of every description, his uncanny feel for the aesthetic of Tiki style, and his prowess for mixology, he is a highly accomplished Tiki carver and creator of all things Polynesian Pop. Once referred to by Sven Kirsten as "A one man Oceanic Arts," his Tikis, Polynesian war club reproductions, shields, masks, and light fixtures can be seen in personal Tiki bars from L.A. to Paris and everywhere in between, and in modern-era Tiki bars as well as legendary Tiki temples such as the beloved Mai Kai. As always, we are thrilled to have him as a part of the Hukilau celebration.
Aaron Burke - tidbit
Print & Web Designer
California native and cofounder of Tidbit Design Aaron Burke was illustrating before he was walking (well, almost)! Aaron has a great love for vintage graphics, tiki, Hawaiiana, bicycles, woodworking and all things retro. Designing the Hukilau’s website and program put Aaron right in his element. This year marks his first visit to the Hukilau.
Located in Redondo Beach California, tidbit design is the brainchild of the married couple Aaron Burke and Jennifer Clark. With over 30 years of experience collectively, tidbit offers graphic and website design, plus illustration, photography and digital retouching.
Bill has been attending and volunteering at Hukilau since 2004. 2010 will be his 5th year as the Official Hukilau Photography Sponsor. Along with the help of talented volunteers and his crew at go11media, he has coordinated the coverage of all of the Hukilau events and produced 1000's of stunning images that have captured the Aloha Spirit of Hukilau and serve as treasured keepsakes for attendees and more than a few Avatars.
"I am honored to be invited back as a sponsor again this year. Each year we try and ad something new to the mix, Portraits in the Mai-Kai Gardens, greenscreening peeps onto the cover of Tiki Magazine, Slideshows, Room Crawl Hosting with partners like SPAM, etc... This year will be no exception and we have some exciting multi-media plans in store for folks."
Bill is a partner in go11media, a multimedia group, that in addition to photography and Videography offers Web and Graphic Design. go11media has created several Tiki-centric websites including the Mai-Kai and is currently working on a new site for VooDooTiki Tequila and BOHtiki.
Brian Crum loves everything about The Hukilau and is proud to be returning to help bring this amazing event to the world. On stage he’s a member of The Intoxicators! and The Disasternauts. Behind the scenes he’s just a regular guy sipping on some rum and getting the job done.
Jim "Hurricane" Hayward
Master Mixologist Coordinator
Jim conceived last year's inaugural Food Network-inspired cocktail contest and hopes to make this year's competition even more exciting and entertaining. "Hurricane" refers to both this veteran journalist's decades of experience covering South Florida's turbulent tropical weather and his penchant for concocting tempestuous tropical drinks. This is his third year as a Hukilau coordinator.
Inspired equally by historic Polynesian Pop (especially The Mai-Kai) and the modern Tiki renaissance, Jim aims to use his acumen from 20-plus years of independent concert promotion to bring a greater awareness and appreciation to the vast ocean of Tiki culture and its many tributaries. Since the early '90s, his Slammie Productions has presented live shows featuring hundreds of indie artists: Agent Orange, Dick Dale, The Nekromantix, Exene Cervenka, The HorrorPops, The Phenomenauts and many more. He has plans in the works to launch a new production company to promote Tiki culture and its music, art and cocktail scenes.
A lifelong student of mid-century pop culture, Jim solidified his appreciation for the Atomic Era in his childhood in the 1960s. His father promoted custom car shows featuring George Barris classics such as the Batmobile and "Munsters" cars and his earliest memories of Tiki come from visits to some of the era's vintage restaurants. In the mid '70s, his family settled in the Sunshine State, where he graduated from the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. He has spent more than 30 years toiling at several of the state's major daily newspapers as a writer, editor and for the past 15 years as a Web producer.
Room Crawl Organizer
Mike Jones was born and raised in NYC, where he was influenced at an early age by the 1964-65 NY World's Fair, 'The Space Age World's Fair', dedicated to 'Peace through Understanding'. It was here that he had his first 'Tiki experience' at the Fair's Polynesian Pavilion, in addition to the spectacular visions of the future also incredibly presented at the the Fair. An early childhood visit to the sensational new Eero Saarinen TWA Terminal at JFK Airport was another indelible experience that introduced him to the dawning of the Jet Age, further enforcing the World's Fair vision of "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". A child of the Space Age, NASA's Apollo missions were yet another influence, as was the burgeoning Pop Culture which included television's Batman, Man From U.N.C.L.E. and other memorable series, the early James Bond films (and subsequent parody films), the Planet of The Apes Series, the films of Stanley Kubrick,and the explosion of Pop Art. Modern design and fashion were also extremely influential, not to mention the profound effect of the exploding music scene. These experiences contributed to a desire for creative expression, which materialized over the course of a career that spans illustration and design, events promotion, consulting services, and over 25 years in the retail/hospitality industries. Jones conceived and developed the world-renowned Jetsetter Lounge, a 'temple' that paid homage to his early Space Age, Polynesian and Pop Cultural influences. The Jetsetter Lounge hosted the 2006 and 2007 Hukilau Grand Finales culminating the festivities in true Jetset style, and co-hosted the Kickoff Party at Hukilau 2009.
Mike is also the producer and organizer of the 'Mod Miami' event held in March 2011 in the MiMo Boulevard District and Miami Beach.
Details | modmiami.com