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2008 - the FINAL Hukilau

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Aloha Hukilau Villagers

This email comes to you with news of the future of the Hukilau event. If you haven’t yet had a chance to attend Hukilau before, you should make plans now as Hukilau 2008 will be our final year.

As we go into this 7th year I see how we’ve grown as an event, I see familiar faces and so many new ones each year. I’ve seen your children grow and some of you get married or engaged while at the event. I’ve met some of the most incredible people from all over the world – it’s become a personal journey, one I will never forget.

I’ve also had the fortune to become close to the Mai-Kai family, which has been such a privilege. To learn so much about the people behind this great Tiki temple is something I will take with me forever. Each experience has been just as the first, truly memorable. It is my favorite place on earth.

I’d like to thank all of the attendees each year as you have made it worth continuing. And to a short list of very important people for without whom, this event would not have been possible: Tim “Swanky” Glazner, Dave “Basement Kahuna” Wolfe, Liz Lang, Sven Kirsten, Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, Amy Eggers, Pia Dahlquist, Kern Mattei Jr., Dave Levy, Mirielle Thorton, Linda Sue Marsh, Bre-elle & Tristan Ishtar, Michelle "Humuhumu" Whiting, Hanford Lemoore, The Haole Kats, The Intoxicators, Denny Moynahan aka King Kukulele, James Teitelbaum, Otto Von Stroheim, Holden Westland, Duke Carter, Stacie & Scott Kimrey, Bamboo Ben, Crazy Al Evans, Gary Lazar, Casey Jones, Jeff Chenault, Robert Drasnin, Jonpaul Balak, Marie King, Tiki Bob, Alice Berry, Charles Kerr, Andy Davis, Joe Culligan, Lenore & Steve Koppelman - all of you have provided continuous and amazing support over the years and I thank you.

I encourage all of you to try to make this last year, as I promise to make every effort to bring you the last and the very best yet. There will be additional performances, seminars and surprises announced within the next week to accent our already stellar lineup. You will also see schedule changes so keep a good watch for those so that you can plan your vacation accordingly.

It has been my extreme pleasure bringing Hukilau to you year after year, this has been an extremely difficult decision to say the least.

I’m so looking forward to seeing all of you in June as we celebrate one last time together!


Come aboard and set sail for America’s Vacationland…we’ll be waiting for you!!

Yee-Haw & Aloha,

The Hukilau

[ Edited by: tiki_kiliki 2008-04-03 11:23 ]

No more Hukilau -- say it isn't so! Perhaps this means that good Tiki karma will prevail and there is something else in the works which will replace this wonderful event? I'd love to know why this will be the last Hukilau. More info, please? Thanks!


Thanks Kiliki (and everyone else she mentioned) for everything you have done to make all of the Hukilau events so much fun.

I remember attending the first event in Atlanta, thinking it would be just a one time event. I was definitely hooked, and made sure I attended the following year, when Hukilau presented me with a perfect opportunity to visit the Mai Kai. I've been fortunate to attend every year since, and look forward to being there in June.

This year's event will be the seventh Hukilau - thanks so much for making those 7 years so much more fun and interesting.



Swanky posted on Thu, Apr 3, 2008 8:54 AM

I can't speak for Kiliki, but I can tell you that it's just a lot of work. A year's worth of effort. Here is how it's worked as far as I can say:

Each year has meant a year of hard work to make it happen and it has never seen a real profit. Mostly it has cost money out of pocket.

The event has a huge budget and you start each year with nothing in the bank and just pray enough people show up to make it balance out. That's a lot of stress.

It is a lot of work. You end up working your butt off at the event and can't truly enjoy the party you have thrown.

In 2004 when Huricane Jeanne hit, it set me back about $7-8,000. That's when I decided I could not take the risk any more. Any number of things can happen that would cause all that work to be a bust. Stress.

I know it is a labor of love and I'd say Kiliki needs a bit of a break. It just gets bigger and bigger and requires more and more. And it is always a gamble as to whether you will have the money to pay everyone on time, etc.

The community is fantastic. Seeing everyone every years is what makes it great. And many untold people have helped in many ways to make it possible at all.

Why? It's 7 years of hard work and stress. I'm amazed she has kept up the hard work this long...

Thanks for that explanation.

I'm so disappointed that I never made it to the Hukilau and committments prevented me going this year-again! My Wahine and I had it penciled in for next year as a definite., no excuses must go.

Guess we'll just have to make a trip to the Mai Kai now and hope one day for the Hukilau reunion.

Have a blast all of you who are going this year and please have a Mai Tai for me.


You guys did good. real good. Mahalo.

I will miss it ! Thanks for everything!


Thanks for some great Hukilau memories Kiliki!
The ones I can remember.

Tiki Kiliki,

I am sorry to hear that this Hukilau will be the last year. My wife and I have been to the last two events. We will be there this time too. It is like my TIKI convention in Florida instead of being in Vegas. We love the vintage style aura of the people in the way they dress and party. It's a great event!!
I will volunteer for the event because, we have our Aloha tickets already and we are just going to party anyway.

Good Luck,
Tiki Mike

[ Edited by: TIKIMIKE FL 2010-06-17 11:13 ]

Another person whom I cannot go without thanking is Elizabeth Lang aka I Dream of Tiki. Without her dedicated assistance for the past several years and her dedication to our friendship and my event, I would've lost my mind years ago. Liz - there are no words to express how much you're valued and adored by me and by Hukilau!

Thanks to everyone for your comments!! It is a very sad time...



I am very grateful to the incredible effort you have put into this event for so many years.... thanks for creating so many great memories.

Thank You,


thanks for everything TK.
It's very sad, but we had the best time thanks to you (and your helpers).

Now, I thought I'd be invited next year to do a theremin concert, that sucks (I promised it to Louise...) :wink:


I sure feel lucky being able to attend one Hukilau. My only experience was a great one, and I really want to thank everyone involved. I just hope there will be something on par to fill the vaccuum left by the legacy of Tiki Kiliki and Swanky and all the other folks who marshalled this event along. My hat is off to you Hukilau organizers - job well done. Too bad it's over (for now?)




Kiliki, thanks to you and everyone that made the Hukilau happen every year. We have so many great memories from the '06 shindig, and we're glad we finally made the decision to make the trek to this year's event. Thanks again for your hard work!


What a great work you have done, Christie, thank you for all.

I am hurting double hard, now that I know I will be stuck in Germany in the middle of a shoot during this, the last Hukilau, when my fellow urban archeologists Jeff Berry, Kevin Kidney, Mike Skinner and others will be there to have the appropriate wake. And Swanky and Basement Kahuna and Kern and.... I hate my life at this moment.

I am pretty bummed as well that I cannot make it this year.

Thank you Christie for giving my wife and I the most memorable times of our lives.

Cheers and Mahalo,

Gosh, this is really tough everyone. I promised myself I wasn't going to look at any of the comments or touch my email until tomorrow.

I'm so glad Hukilau has meant so much to all of you, that is why I've continued. It's been tough, Swanky knows how much we've gone through since the beginning and since he moved on, it's been one hurdle after another for me - but honestly, I took the bad because all the good times overpowered anything else. I am proud to have brought it to all of you for 7 years.

Sven and Jeff - two HUGE supporters of me, how I wish you could be there. You will be unbelievably missed.

Wow, what news. Thanks to Tiki Kiliki for doing this phenomenal thing for so long!
( Can someone call Richard Branson or Donald Trump...for a liiiiiiittle help!)


I heard rumblings about this being the last year and am super bummed like everyone else. I was only able to attend in '06 but had probably one of my best vacations ever (or evah in RI-speak) at the Hukilau. Thanks so much Christie for all of your hard work!

Now to try and scheme on how to get to the LAST Hukilau...




Christie - I'm sure there are endless sacrifices that you've made to keep Hukilau going. And we are grateful for everything you've done. You have that magic touch that you put on everything you do. How you do it, I don't know, but I'm glad to have experienced it.

Mahalo for everything --

Thank you Christie for all the great times! I have been lucky enough to attend 3 Hukilaus in 2005, 2004, and 2003.

When I heard that this year might be the last, I jumped on board to be the Volunteer Coordinator for Hukilau 2008.

If you are inspired to attend Hukilau in June now that you know this is to be the last Hukilau ever, but you are feeling the pinch in your pocketbook, you should consider volunteering at Hukilau this year!

There are FREE Aloha Passes and Big Kahuna Passes still available for a donation of only four hours of your time.

Please contact me if you are interested in volunteering. We need all the volunteers we can get!

Please e-mail me at:

[email protected] or [email protected]


Thanks so much for all the hard work. All of you.

In a way Hukilau was the catalyst for my career. Back then the vending was done out of our hotel rooms.
I did about 25 pieces of art and then set them up on the bed and ironing board. Every piece sold and launched me into the tiki and lowbrow art scene. I thank you for that!

I can't imagine what all go's into planning such a big event. I'm sure it's 20 time more work than anyone would realize.

I wasn't sure if I was going to make it or not this year until now. I'll be the one sleeping on the beach.

Mahalo and see you all soon.


Mega Mahalos for you Christie. Hukilau '05 was my first tiki event of any kind and what a wonderful world it introduced me to. I have met so many great people and had so much fun (except for a few mornings).

Here's to ending things in proper style with a huge fun event in a few more months!

Nothin' but love.


pablus posted on Fri, Apr 4, 2008 4:09 PM


This is not the end of the Mai-Kai - just the end of Hukilau as we know it.

But don't worry, you'll find out what Tiki Kiliki Productions has in store for 2009! An East Coast Tiki event will continue!

On 2008-04-04 16:09, pablus wrote:
Ever been stung by a jellyfish?
It's a great pepper-upper.

Everybody come on down to the Hukilau and let's take it out with a KABOOM!



Got any room Flounder??

Mrs Boo and I " Might " just show up on a Red Eye near you!!!




Been some "REALLY" good times!!

MAhalos to Kristi and Swanky !!!

p.s. Now come to OASIS!!!

Some of the best times of my life had there and lifelong friends made there. I have attended 5 and been a volunteer at 4. Amazing, crazy times. The event that Christy White and Tim Glazner created back in 2002 was, is, and always will be dear to my heart until the day I die. I am grateful to just have been around for it. I couldn't begin to tell the stories here. To those dweedledees who pussed/wimped/boo-hoo'ed/excused/thumb-twiddled out and never went even once in these past 7 years...OHHH, the things you have missed!!! I feel sad for you if you have never been and yet call yourself a devoted tikiphile. Here it is: one last chance for you to finally be spontaneous, take your life by the balls, and GO TO HUKILAU, the last one, man!! :( Sad to see it go. Kiliki, you da woman. Your vision has built a world of smiles and memories.

[ Edited by: Basement Kahuna 2008-04-04 22:58 ]


Christie -
Thank you for all you hard work and magic over these past few years. We only missed the first Hukilau (but ending up doing a Tiki Road Trip down the east coast of FL and discovered the Mai Kai that weekend). In 2004, my husband had plans to propose at the Hukilau but the hurricanes chased us out (he still proposed in the garden at the Mai Kai though).

The Hukilau will live on in the ohana and whenever more that 3 or 4 of us gather, we will experience that magic that you created!

Steve and I are SOOOO proud of our beautiful TK. We love you SO much! Some of our best memories have happened at Hukilau, and we will never forget them. What a bittersweet moment to know this for sure. Bitter for the obvious reasons, and sweet to know that you are finally giving yourself a little rest. You have earned it, and you really deserve it. More than anyone I know.

You have done such a great job, and we love you so much. Mahalo for ALL of it. :)

An eternity of hugs and kisses and love,

The Koppelmans :)

PS: I love you :)

[ Edited by: Tikilicious 2008-04-05 06:08 ]

why no more hukilau??......cause it's better to go out while you're still on top, rather than burn out and let the event degenerate into something less than it is....we've all seen it happen before......when it comes to any event like this, the first few are usually the best...(i.e las vegas grind, vegas rockabilly weekender to name a few) then the promoters begin to burn out from the work load and it slowly starts to dissolve into a cliqueish nightmare and a popularity contest among the participants (thankfully, I've found the tiki folk at these events to be not so shallow as the rockabilly folk). You've done an awesome job of hukilau...you should all be proud of yourselves......make this the last and best event this year.......everything changes and now it's time for some other event in some other location to take over the reins.......so it begs the question....What's next???......

[ Edited by: Tipsy McStagger 2008-04-05 06:26 ]


I remember that year very well, the first year in Fort Lauderdale at the Holiday Inn, the broken elevators, the lessons we learned. And I also remember when I entered your room and saw your work and your purses on the bed! I snatched one from a girls hand, literally, finally to have a Flounder purse - now that's only one of 4 pieces of your work I hold dear in my collection.

Tikilicious, you're a doll baby! That year of the Home Bar Tour, I'm still surprised we survived!

BK - you've been in the trenches with me, you're also an awesome friend.

Thanks again everyone for all your comments and just wait 'til 2009!

mieko posted on Sat, Apr 5, 2008 9:07 AM

Thank you so much for putting on such a wonderful event, last year was incredible, and I know this year will be even better! (if that's possible!)
I was particularly amazed at the Aloha spirit that I found in Florida, people were so friendly and open, and the vibe of the event made a big impact on that. I can't imagine how much work it's been, but you should be proud. You've thrown a great party for numerous people, you've helped launch many an artist's career (mine sure improved!), and you've brought a number of people to Fort Lauderdale and the Mai Kai that never would have experienced it otherwise.

Swanky posted on Sat, Apr 5, 2008 9:10 AM

Tiki was created in California and its march across the continent culminated in the Mai Kai. Hukilau is a pilgramage. A required trek. Those who fail to go will hold their Mai Tais cheap whiles any speak who drank there.
-Swanky - Hukilau co-creator and survivor of many skirmishes with Zombies...

If this language is odd to you, read the last bit of this speech written by ol Will for its reference. Be there or suck! :wink:

For a trip down memory lane:
Hukilau 2002
Hukilau 2002 video. Can you spot Sven?
Hukilau 2003, the Mai Kai era begins with Bre and Tristan
Hukilau 2003 video
Hukilau 2004 - The Hurricane year
Hukilau 2005 teaser
Hukilau 2005

[ Edited by: Swanky 2008-04-05 09:20 ]


As a California Tikiphile, I must say that Hukilau will always live in my memory of one of the most special events we've attended. We are very grateful that we were able were to attend the event two years ago. It was an amazing experience. We are also very grateful to Tiki Kiliki for her heart and dedication to this event...providing us an opportunity to enjoy Tiki, at an amazing event, with new and old East Coast friends.

Our plan was to attend Hukilau every year, but sadly, our Hukilau fund kept getting sucked into emergency home repairs. I personally am very excited to hear that there will/may be something else coming up on the East Coast in 2009. Our hope is that economic conditions will aid in our opportunity to make the trek over. Hope dies hard, we're still trying to figure out a way to find the scheckels for airfare and hotel this year. If we can swing it, we'll be there.

We wish happiness, success, and joy in this event and look forward to the future. Thanks Tiki Kiliki for all of your hard work and dedication. You're an amazing woman.

Loki posted on Sat, Apr 5, 2008 3:23 PM

We will miss the old gal, but we are so proud of what she became and even more proud to have been a part of her past.
You know we got your back.

Ditto what Loki said.

This Really Really sucks, as I cannot go.
And Have not been to Hukilau.
I wish this would have been announced earlier.
As I had already made plans to go to Canada the weekend before.
and I cannot do both.

Even though I have never been,
thanks for doing such a cool event,
for those that can't come out to the West Coast for Tiki Oasis.
or for those that want to go see the Glorious Mai Kai and other Fla. tiki related stuff.



tiki kiliki,
Only the last two years have I been and I echo how spectacular a time I've had.I'll be there this year come hell or high water.So many memories and so many fine characters.Last year I volunteered and came to experience a tiny bit of what's involved.In creating our own event here in Vermont(The Tiki Train)I've learned some of the difficulties and dedication necessary to make such happen.The Hukilaus,Hot Rod Hula Hops and N.E. Tiki Tours gave me the inspiration to even attempt such a thing.Mahalo for the amazing times you made possible.Be sure, it ain't for the money, we do it because we love you all!(I've already set aside a barrel and suspenders.... just in case!).....You are going to be sooooo squeezed at the Huikilau! Thanks and see you soon..Greg

[ Edited by: Hula Cat 2008-04-06 07:01 ]


Hukilau is a wonderful event in itself. I know the statement below was innocent with good intentions, but to define Hukilau as solely an affordable alternative to Oasis for East Coasters - or simply a great way to see the Mai Kai, doesn't do the event justice.

Hukilau is a unique event and in many ways significantly different than Oasis. In fact some people prefer it over Oasis. Yeah, it's a great way for people to see the Mai Kai and enjoy Tiki in FL, and given proximity, it might even be more affordable for East Coasters as opposed to traveling across the country...but it's more than that. It's a special event unto itself.

Just wanted to express that regardless of the Coast, the event is appreciated for what it is -- pretty darned great! Thanks TK!

On 2008-04-05 17:12, bigtikidude wrote:
Even though I have never been,
thanks for doing such a cool event,
for those that can't come out to the West Coast for Tiki Oasis.
or for those that want to go see the Glorious Mai Kai and other Fla. tiki related stuff.




Thank you for the sacrafice of your personal time and energy to bring the Hukilau to life each and every year. It has always been evident to me that your driving ambition has been to ensure that all attendees have the best experience possible, no matter what it takes. It is an event that is truely about the ohana. I look forward to the pilgramage each year and it has always exceeded my expectations. The programs and the entertainment are carefully orchestrated to celebrate and preserve all things poly-pop. I have learned as much as I have laughed at your events. Everything you do is completely inspired and I have not told you enough what a positive impact your events have had on my life. The memories from past Hukilau's can not be duplicated...for me that is about as good as it gets. You are a talented and extremely giving person and I know that whatever and wherever you choice as your next adventure will be outstanding.

Hey bigtikidude Canada will still be there next year! :)

Kahu posted on Sun, Apr 6, 2008 4:38 PM

On 2008-04-06 16:12, FLOUNDERart wrote:
Hey bigtikidude Canada will still be there next year! :)

Kind of like, You only get to do the last one once.


no more Hukilau after this and no more Rascal House--what is Florida coming to!?!?
Thanks for a great event, Christie!


The theme for this year should be "Time for Tiki Kiliki to party". Let's all make sure TK has the time of her life, and looks back at the best party she's ever attended, as well as hosted.


The Angry Idol


While I understand..... I still feel like I'm gonna throw up.

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