BIG NEWS: Retro Renovation heading to The Hukilau 2014 — The Final Aloha!

tiki-hukilauBIG ANNOUNCEMENT, we are still jumping up and down and squealing with excitement: This June 11-15, 2014 marks the last Hukilau — the famous tiki-extravaganza that has been held annually in Fort Lauderdale since 2003 — “the most authentic tiki event in the world!” And we’ll be there — leading a panel of tiki design geniuses who will share some of their secrets to create home tiki bars — to “Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise!” Read on for all the details –>

Once I heard that The Hukilau would be sailing into the sunset, I knew that Kate and I just HAD to be a part of it. So I reached out to organizer and friend of the blog Christie White aka Tiki Kiliki.


In return for our participation and planning, The Hukilau will be providing Retro Renovation with some compensation and sponsorship benefits. This first announcement and an ad to go in our sidebar are “part of the deal” — but any future stories or communications are “not”. Future coverage will be done because of Tiki Madness Love (of which we have an abundance, for sure!)

Tiki Kiliki and I were on the phone in a flash and WOOT: The Hukilau has assembled a special, first-of-its-kind panel at The Hukilau 2014: “Create your own Suburban Savage Paradise” — and Retro Renovation aka me will be the host-facilitator-interviewer of this session! I’m bringing Kate along, too, to help with this event, to take lots of photos to chronicle The Hukilau for the blog, and to call the Coast Guard if I drop my Mai Tai in the pool*.

The panel that Christie has arranged will feature tiki design superstars Ben Bassham aka Bamboo Ben… Danny Gallardo aka Tiki Diablo…  Jamie Wilson and Anjy Cameron aka Cheekytiki (who are flying in from London just for The Hukilau!)… and David Wolfe aka Basement Kahuna

Among them, these design geniuses have created dozens of amazing, detailed, fantastic home and commercial tiki bars. In what I expect to be an eye-popping, head-spinning session on Friday afternoon June 13, I will quiz them on some of their best secrets and top suggestions tailored to homeowners who want to create their own Suburban Savage Paradise. There will be lots of inspiration photos…. We’ll aim for ample Q&A…. And, there will be a fun giveaway.


Kate & I have started “research” already. Here we are at Foundation — a fabulous, authentic tiki bar in Milwaukee. There is going to be a lot of “research” required to prepare for this event!

About Hukilau 2014

As we prepare to be on the scene and on the spot with all these tikiphiles, you can bet that Kate and I will be doing our homework exploring the world of tiki — so watch for more stories and another uploader as The Hukilau’s June date with destiny approaches. Meanwhile, some key details about The Hukilau:

  • About The Hukilau: The Hukilau began when a few people on the Tiki Central message board discussed creating an annual event celebrating Hawaiian and Polynesian Pop culture while honoring a historic Tiki bar and location. Under Christie White’s knowledgeable and passionate direction, The Hukilau has grown in every respect each and every year since. This final year, up to 2,500 tiki-afficianados are expected to attend The Hukilau!

    inside the mai kai

    Inside the Mai Kai

  • Experience The Mai-Kai: The highlight of The Hukilau is an evening at the amazing, historic Mai-Kai tiki bar “estate”. For decades, the Mai-Kai has been considered a “Tiki temple” by mid-century and poly-pop enthusiasts. It is now an official South Florida landmark.
  • The Hulikau 2014 is going to be the last one. Christie is going to move on to exploring her tiki passion in other, less all-consuming ways.
  • Pam and Kate and the expert panel will present “Create your own Suburban Savage Paradise” at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 13. All events require a paid ticket; they sell out fast.
  • Want to know more? Want to attend? Read more about The Hukilau HERE.

Mahalo, Tiki Kiliki, for inviting us to be a part of this spectacular, historic, epic event, and for taking the lead in putting together our session. We can’t wait!



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  1. Libbyontheprairie says

    Wow- how exciting Pam & Kate! This story and topic are just what everyone needs to get through this never-ending winter! I feel warm just thinking about umbrella drinks at a tiki bar =)

  2. says

    I live in Florida and I love everything tiki. So have been to the Hukilau. You’ll really enjoy yourself. It’s great fun! Hope to see you there 🙂

  3. Mary Elizabeth says

    So funny you should mention this event in Florida. Yesterday I went on a “cultural research” trip (hee-hee) with some elders of one of our local tribes (at 66 and 67 my friend and I were the youngest there) to the HuKeLau Polynesian dance show in Chicopee, MA. Had not been to one of these events in years. I was looking forward to it, because I had learned hula dance as a kid with an instructor from Hawaii. The show turned out to be 10 to 20% authentic movement and music and 80 to 90% kitsch. (We figured that going in, so we just determined to enjoy both!)

    RetroRenoReaders might enjoy knowing the the word Hukilau or Hukelau means a communal fishing activity and the beach party afterwards that celebrates the catch. (Here in New England we call it a Clambake.) By contrast, a Luau is a feast that includes coconut chicken, pork, poi, and many other dishes.

    So to Pam, Kate, and everyone going to this Florida event, Huki to your Lau! Enjoy the kitsch, and do send us lots of pictures.

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