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Bourbon Bill's Tiki Escape 2024

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After a friend showed me a Facebook ad announcing this, I decided to manage my expectations and give generously to the charity-based all-day event in Jacksonville, Florida. Arriving at the 10am dealer's room, I was disappointed to see no vintage wares on display whatsoever, just two carvers, while the rest was either female clothing or non-tiki-related doodads. I strolled through the parking lot to see the vintage cars, but there were no pinup models accentuating the rides.

As there was literally nothing to do until the 2pm mermaid show, I decided to skip the afternoon's activities, since I knew I'd be returning for the evening Hawaiian buffet.

Before the evening festivities, I had a glance at the silent auction items, 90% of which were non-tiki-related. The bar table appeared to be stocked with six or eight varieties of liquor, while the front table was filled entirely with soda pop. So, no legitimate cocktails were to be had, just boat drinks. The food smelled enticing, but before the serving could start, the worst yacht rock band in the universe started up, complete with vocalist. Note to anyone using the word "tiki" in event planning: tiki music has no vocals.

I've seen livelier (and more attractive) attendees at retirement centers, so I took my swag bag and went home, entirely uninterested in suffering through more auditory assault, even for whole roasted pig. After getting home and dumping out the swag, the insult was complete.


This sort of debacle might fare well at The Villages, where you'd expect a certain ratio of walking canes and walkers, but this shit don't fly in Jacksonville, not at $130/VIP package. Kudos for supporting local charities, but before you attempt to foist this over on tikiphiles again, do yourself a favor and attend a genuine tiki gathering. And yes, believe it or not, I'm being charitable.

I agree (except for the age comments)! I wasn’t expecting much, and that’s what I got. Fortunately I was only into it for two $10.00 general admission tickets – I was reluctant to spend the extra on a “luau” sight unseen. Glad for that. We got there around 1100 and stayed less than an hour. After walking through the vendor area and the few cars in the parking lot there was nothing to do. The entertainment they advertised was a DJ spinning 50s-60s pop music – good stuff but far from tiki. Only three tiki-related vendors – one of which was a magazine. Not a mug in sight. Met a couple of nice people, but this goes down in the book as “not only no, but hell no!”

A waste of time and money.

Thanks for vetting out this event for us. We were bummed out just reading about what materialized and what didn't. Cheers,

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