Play 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 has gathered in Fort Lauderdale for what has become the premier 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 of Hukilau and drummer for the Intoxicators. “The event celebrates urban archaeology, in a sense. But it’s also a lot of happy people with rum.”

Happy indeed, 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 Straightjackets 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. The event runs this Thursday through Sunday. Event ticket prices start at $20, or $70 for a weekend pass. Pick up tickets at the Bahia Cabana Resort.
Fri., June 12, noon, 2009


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