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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Events » » Other Events » » The Hukilau 2012 Official Thread & Announcement!
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The Hukilau 2012 Official Thread & Announcement!
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 10, 2005
Posts: 116
From: Palm Springs, CA
Posted: 2012-04-29 8:47 pm   Permalink

P.S. Amen, Jim

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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1467
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2012-04-29 9:58 pm   Permalink

That concludes our test of the Emergency Tiki Network.
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Some photos from Harold Golen ...

Drinks from PKNY fit the mood perfectly.

Artists Donella and Joe Vitale enjoy the drinks and company in The Molokai.

Sven Kirsten and Jeff Berry are up to no good.

Paul Roe and Gina Santucci discover the charm of the Mystery Drink.

Robert, Jasmine, Jose and Harold are dressed to the nines.

Jeff, Sven and Christie savor the moment.

[ This Message was edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2012-04-29 21:59 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 03, 2002
Posts: 5311
From: Hapa Haole Hideaway, TN
Posted: 2012-04-30 1:11 pm   Permalink

Being 1 of the 3 people who has attended every Hukilau, I can say without question that they are never the same. One year the party is in the ocean, in our underwear with a kiddie pool full of rum, next year it is in the Penthouse with Pablus and then it is a great time in the hot tub and then it is in a room with band members jamming all night. I gave up trying to predict and it took yet another turn this year and we had a great time in the gardens of the Mai-Kai.

We had a great time this year and it was not like any other year. New faces, old faces, new cocktails, old cocktails. Smaller crowds mean talking to more people. Martin Cate sneaking away from the Rum festival to hang with us.

Good times!

"Mai-Kai: History & Mystery of the Iconic Tiki Restaurant" the book

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 01, 2002
Posts: 1046
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2012-04-30 5:28 pm   Permalink

This is a long overdue thank you to so many. After The Hukilau ends I have to immediately go back to work and unfortunately, this year, we have lost 2 people so I went back to a huge workload needing a vacation from my working vacation.

That said, it was all worth it. To see everyone having a great time, new people, existing friends, and all those that keep coming back for more. We even saw some folks make the trip from Miami's Rum Renaissance Festival to gather in the festivities - nothing/no one could keep them away.

Special thanks to the Mai-Kai and their entire staff for making things seem so simple! You all are my hero!

Many thanks to my staff of fantastic people: Jim Hayward, Brian Crum, Dave Wolfe, George Jenkins, Shelley Knepper - thank you for all the free time you give the event and your tireless efforts to help me keep it going.

Many thanks to Paul Roe, Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, Sven Kirsten and Swanky for outstanding symposiums. Since I missed Sven's slideshow last time it was particularly wonderful to be able to be a part of that, in the Mai-Kai!! Paul, my tattoo means more to me each time I get to tell the story. Jeff, I want more Zombies and Swanky - release the book electronically to include all the video segments please!

To newcomer Angie Pontani, out of this world wonderful, talented and giving. The Martian Denny Orchestra, King Kukulele, The Intoxicators!, Exotik-A-GoGo, Gold Dust Lounge - all stellar outstanding performances this year!

Our great vendors this year that survived the rain and the new location/setup - thank you for returning and believing in us!

Tiki Diablo for our fantastic Mug!

Go11 Media for never getting tired of snappin' away and for the killer Tiki photo booth this year!!!

Heelgrinder for the website and undying dedication to me and The Hukilau.

Our sponsors - Sailor Jerry Rum, Fee Brothers Bitters and Syrups, Tiki Magazine and Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge!

And to each and every person that came to the event - we do it all for you and to keep Tiki alive. See you June 6 - 9, 2013!!!

Yee-Haw & Aloha,

The Hukilau

[ This Message was edited by: tiki_kiliki 2012-04-30 17:32 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1323
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2012-04-30 8:17 pm   Permalink

This year was my 9th year of attendance at Hukilau, and I found myself enjoying this year's event more than I had expected to. I had just done a dream trip to the Marquesan Islands this past December, and I wasn't sure on whether I would enjoy yet another Hukilau so soon after that South Pacific trip. But with my birthday falling on Hukilau weekend, I realized that there was no place I wanted to celebrate other than the Mai Kai, and be with friends who would be there.

Having attended eight previous Hukilaus, I've met and remet many friends over the years. Many of them, for whatever reasons, could not or chose not to attend this year - and this includes friends from the D.C. area, friends from Florida, friends from Texas, friends from California, and friends from Chicago, Ohio, and numerous other locations. I missed you guys, and hopefully our paths will cross again, sooner rather than later.

But it was wonderful, as it is every year, to meet new people, to sense their enthusiasm at discovering the Hukilau event. And it was good to hug and talk to people I have not seen in several years, to say things that have more meaning when spoken face-to-face than via some text message over a computer screen.

I did something this year that I had not done before. Usually for the Saturday night Mai Kai dinner, I prearrange to be seated with friends. But this year, I thought to myself 'I want to do a Mystery seat assignment', so I went to the maitre-d and said 'a party of one' and was the initial person seated at a table.

I ordered a Test Pilot, and waited to see who would be seated with me - first it was another friend from Colorado, then a group of four from Canada that I had met two days ago, and finally it was a couple from Key West I had never met before. (I told the woman that I had been hoping that a beautiful woman would be seated next to me for my birthday, and that the wish had just come true - I received a nice birthday kiss in return for that comment!) It was a completely wonderful dining experience, with companions provided via tiki roulette style. And I felt that if I was seated at some other table, with other people, that it would also be a wonderful dining event. And that is kind of what Hukilau, and what I believe most other tiki events - even the ones I've never attended - is like. If you allow it to happen, and leave yourself open to possibilities, then good things will happen.

So thanks to all the organizers, vendors, and participants of Hukilau, for creating an environment where good things happened. The ambiance of the Thursday night Best Western event was wonderful, the free drinks offered by PKNY and Lani Kai were amazingly good (I need to make a return trip to NYC soon), and I did enjoy that each evening was capped off by a shuttle ride to the Mai Kai.

I regret that there were a few friends I was not able to spend as much time talking to as I would have liked - that seems to happen with every Hukilau. And I regret that my body is a bit older, and doesn't have the stamina to seek out late-night parties like I used to.

But I am glad I chose to attend this year.


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Hurricane Hayward
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 07, 2008
Posts: 1467
From: 16 miles from The Mai-Kai
Posted: 2012-04-30 8:47 pm   Permalink

The full recap is now posted:

It was a jam-packed four days of informative symposiums, live music, artists and vendors, and – of course – many tropical-themed cocktails ...

More coming soon ...
Events, music, art, cocktails, culture

The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide

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Tiki Wachee
Tiki Centralite

Joined: May 30, 2012
Posts: 19
From: Tampa Bay
Posted: 2012-06-03 10:33 am   Permalink

Just wanted to post a big thanks to all involved with the planning and execution of this year's Hukilau. This was my first visit to both the event and the Mai Kai (40th birthday gift from my girlfriend) and it was truly a blast. Loved everything about it, but the symposiums were the highlight for me (after the Mai Kai, of course). I don't think I've seen anyone post a link here to the 2012 photo booth gallery, so here it is:


I was surprised to see that my girlfriend and I are in the very first photo in the gallery. Now you know what we look like. Looking forward to seeing the group shots and other images from Go11 once they're uploaded. Will be sitting down to go through mine soon to post the highlights...once I get a free weekend to myself.


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Mr. Ho
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 09, 2005
Posts: 476
From: Boston, MA
Posted: 2012-06-05 8:12 pm   Permalink

Just wanted to say I love the Tiki Diablo mug from 2012! Nice work TD!

Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica
Esquivel Big Band & Global Jazz and Exotic Chamber Music Quintet
“anything but straightforward”–Washington Post

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 21, 2009
Posts: 541
From: Rockledge, FL
Posted: 2012-06-24 3:55 pm   Permalink

A bit late, but more pics from this year's event:


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