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June 6-10 – The Hukilau at the Pier 66 Hotel and The Mai-Kai restaurant.
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From The Atomic Grog, 11-15-17
Spirited mash-up: Rum Renaissance Festival moves next door to The Hukilau in Fort Lauderdale, creating ultimate rum and Tiki weekend in June 2018

After nine years in Miami-Dade County, the country’s largest celebration of cane spirits is moving up the coast to link up with the East Coast’s most esteemed gathering of Polynesian Pop and Tiki enthusiasts. June 2018 promises a monumental mash-up when the Rum Renaissance Festival and The Hukilau collide near Fort Lauderdale Beach.

The thousands attending the Rum Renaissance Festival on June 9-10 at the Broward County Convention Center will be just a mile from the hordes of Tikiphiles at the 17th edition of The Hukilau at the iconic Pier 66 Hotel, separated only by the whims of the 17th Street Causeway bridge. For the past five years, the Miami Rum Festival was held in April at the DoubleTree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center.

Organizers of both events say the move will create a synergy beneficial to everyone (with the possible exception of the temperance movement). Just 7 miles away is the historic Mai-Kai Restaurant, the icing on the cake of any rum and Tiki lover’s ultimate weekend.

Rum Renaissance Festival producer Robert A. Burr enjoys the Tiki Tower Takeover at The Hukilau in June 2016 with RumXP tasting panel members Nicole and Joe Desmond of New York City. (Atomic Grog photo)

“There’s lots of crossover potential,” said Robert A. Burr, who with wife Robin founded the Miami Rum Renaissance Festival in 2009. “We can bring more people in” to the rum, cocktail and Tiki scenes, he said, noting that cooperation is the key. While logistics are still being worked out, “we’re going out of our way to not step on each other’s toes” and “not cross swords,” he said.

The Hukilau’s head honcho, Richard Oneslager, stressed that the longstanding Tiki event is not changing. “Our first priority is to our villagers and The Mai-Kai,” he said. “We’re not a joint venture.”

However, he was quick to add: “We want to make it beneficial to guests of both events. We’re neighbors. I don’t see them as being competition. I want to work with them as best as we can.” Many villagers will enjoy both, he said. “If The Hukilau isn’t enough, rum fest is close.”

Google Maps: http://bit.ly/2i77TDS

According to Google Maps, the Rum Renaissance Festival and the Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center are almost exactly a mile from The Hukilau and the Pier 66 Hotel. The trip takes roughly 6 minutes by car, 9 minutes by bus, and 17 minutes on foot. The rum fest’s official hotel, the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, is near the mid-point between the two.

Both sites are also conveniently located within 5 miles of Fort Lauderdale International Airport and the cruise ships at Port Everglades. The public beach near the B Ocean Resort (home of the famous Wreck Bar and Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid‘s swimshows) is just a mile north of Pier 66 on Seabreeze Boulevard (aka State Road A1A). Roughly 7 miles due north is The Ma-Kai, the 60-year-old historic landmark that serves equally historic rum and Tiki cocktails.

Check the official websites of both events for updates in the coming weeks as details are confirmed. RumRenaissance.com already includes all the basics, including a link to get the festival’s $119-a-night rate at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel.

Global rum ambassador Ian Burrell, founder of the UK Rumfest, presents a symposium at The Hukilau in June 2017. (Atomic Grog photo)

TheHukilau.com is due to be updated later this month when the entertainment lineup is announced and tickets go on sale. A special rate on Pier 66 rooms should also be available at that point. Last year, room rates ranged from $129 for a marina view to $226 for a tower suite.

The Hukilau will stick to the same basic schedule it has followed in years past: A Wednesday night pre-party at The Mai-Kai; Thursday and Friday special events, symposiums, cocktail classes and Tiki Treasures Bazaar at Pier 66; plus Saturday’s main event and Sunday finale at The Mai-Kai. Signature events include Thursday’s Tiki Tower Takeover in the rotating 17th floor Pier Top Lounge, plus Friday’s daytime Rum Island Pool Party and evening High Tide Party.

But Oneslager also has a few new surprises in store when tickets go on sale and an updated website is launched by the end of November. All of the performing bands and the lineups for the major parties will be announced, he said. Included will be 50 percent more pop-up Tiki bars from around the country. Symposiums and classes will be announced in December. Ticket prices will remain similar to last year’s event, he said. These ranged from a $159 three-day pass to a $379, all-inclusive five-day pass. Many events and symposium tickets are also sold ala carte.

More on the rum fest and its move to Fort Lauderdale on The Atomic Grog:

Events, music, art, cocktails, culture

The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | The Tiki Times

[ Edited by: Hurricane Hayward 2017-11-16 21:34 ]

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