From August 18-21, it’s tiki time in San Diego- A time to light the tiki torches, cue the exotica music and don your favourite tropical shirt! Thousands of tiki fans will soon convene at the annual Tiki Oasis convention, the largest and longest-running tiki gathering in the world.
Each year, about 3,500 attendees enjoy a tiki-tastic art and fashion marketplace, live tropical-jazz music, go-go dancers, a classic car show, pool parties and
more. This year’s theme, “Party on Monster Island,” is a classic monster mash of the tiki kind.
The four-day festival will kick off on Thursday on 18th August at the Bali Hai Restaurant, a well-known “tiki temple” that opened in 1954 on Shelter Island, “San Diego’s Hawaiian Isle” where many buildings reflect a Polynesian motif. Be prepared to see the hand-carved tiki idols like the iconic Mr. Bali Hai and Goof on the Roof, genuine Polynesian artifacts and tapa cloths which adorn the restaurant.
While you are there, you can enjoy Pacific Rim cuisine and famously strong Mai Tais against a spectacular backdrop of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline.
The rest of the days are to be held at Crowne Plaza San Diego, formerly known as the Hanalei Hotel. Yes, it is as exotic as it sounds – a slice of paradise that hosts the Tiki Oasis convention every year. It has retained much of its island-themed luster from yesteryear, including tiki statues, Polynesian art, a lava rock fountain, outrigger canoe and tropical pool area.
With a surprising proliferation of Polynesian culture, San Diego is a paradise for lovers of tiki. This festive chapter of the city’s history began decades ago as San Diego marketed itself as an affordable, closer-to-home version of the tropics.
Fortunately, remnants of San Diego’s tiki past, ranging from tiki sculptures and South Pacific architecture to exotic plants and luaus, can still be found today throughout the city.