Bridgeworthy: Tiki Oasis Returns To San Diego


    A Celebration of All Things “Tiki”
    August 15-18

    A celebration of all things “Tiki” returns to San Diego Aug. 15 with the 13th Annual Tiki Oasis. How does one begin to describe this phenomenon? Think South Seas and Hawaiian music; Jack Kerouac and Jack London; burlesque and sweet rum drinks through the night to the resonance of native drums.

    Now surround all of that with large wooden Tiki sentinels, flaming torches; a wooden President Obama Tiki to your right; and a bikini-clad woman chainsawing a ten-foot Tiki to your left. Think art, music, fashion, and antique cars. Think, “What world could this possibly exist in?” Welcome to Tiki Oasis.

    This year the Tiki Oasis’ main event takes place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (formerly the Hanalei Hotel), 2270 Hotel Circle North. Main events begin Friday at 11 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. A musical kick-off takes place Thursday from 6-11 p.m. at the Bali Hai Restaurant in Shelter Island.

    This year’s Tiki Oasis celebrates “Hulabilly,” and explores the Hawaiian influence on American music. Part Americana, part Hawaiiana, Hulabilly is an American music style derived from the blending of Rockabilly and Haole Hawaiian music.

    Just as Tiki style is a blend of Polynesian influences as interpreted through our romanticized view of the South Seas, Hawaiian music has been sentimentalized and interpreted by American musicians for decades.

    Tiki Oasis is the crossroads of the Tiki world. Craftsmen, artists, tinkerers, and traders haul their wares to the Oasis creating an Exotica emporium unmatched throughout the world. Many vendors create limited edition items specifically for TO13 weekend shopper.

    The Tiki Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Marketplace features more than 100 unique, Tiki-themed vendors, includes clothing, a Pinup’s closet, original art, ceramics, carvings, musical instruments, clothing, jewelry, vinyl records and CDs, posters, limited edition Tiki Oasis 13 Merchandise and more. It’s located in the courtyard of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The Tiki Car Show is outside in the parking log.

    This year, on Sunday only, Tiki Oasis will feature local mobile food trucks selling delicious cuisine including Casanova Fish Tacos and “Devilicious food, so good it’s bad!” Also at the car show are the Rockeresque Beauty Bungalow and Tiki Oasis Cigar Lounge.

    Tiki culture began in the United States in 1934 with the opening of Don the Beachcomber, a Polynesian-themed bar and restaurant in Hollywood. Its popularity was unbelievable. Within three years Trader Vic became a worldwide chain. In the ‘50s the music of Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman was the rage. Exotica, as it was called, featured a blend of ethnic styles – South Pacific, the Orient and Latin rhythms – filled with background noises of croaking frogs and shrieking birds, all worked into a musical frenzy with vibes, xylophones and congas.

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    (All photos by Joe Ditler and Part-Time PR)

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    Joe Ditler is a professional writer, publicist and Coronado historian. Formerly a writer with the Los Angeles Times, he has been published in magazines and newspapers throughout North America and Europe. He also owns Part-Time PR (a subsidiary of Schooner or Later Promotions), specializing in helping Coronado businesses reach larger audiences with well-placed public relations throughout the greater San Diego County. He writes obituaries and living-obituaries under the cover "Coronado Storyteller." To find out more, write or call, or (619) 435-0767.