South Florida isnt Hawaii, but theyre so damn similar, who cares? Since middle-class Americans discovered Florida was a nice place to spend the winter and a cheap facsimile of that faraway Pacific island chain theyve been putting on grass skirts and making the best of things. And for the past ten years, the Hukilau has been claiming to be the East Coasts largest tiki and Polynesian pop gathering. Thursday at 7 p.m., the tiki festival will kick off with a party at the Bahia Cabana, with performances by the Intoxicators! and Tikiyaki Orchestra. Friday is the Hukilau main event, with MC King Kukulele and live shows by Grinder Nova, the Fisherman, Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, and the Exotics beginning at 7 p.m. at Bahia Mars Commodore Ballroom (801 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in the Bahia Mars Mariner Room, see Beautiful Girls That Live Like Fish! an exhibit of vintage photos and film from a famous 60s mermaid attraction. The Hukilau closes Sunday at 4 p.m. with a meet-and-greet with surf guitar great Dick Dale at Mai-Kai (3599 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale). Dont forget to hit every happy hour, buy plenty of Polynesian souvenirs, and get a commemorative photo taken after all, no one has to know you werent actually on the Big Island.
June 9-12, 7 p.m., 2011
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