Looking for a rum or tiki-related event to attend this year but just aren’t sure where to go? Lucky for you, I get invited to all kinds of rum and tiki events I couldn’t possibly afford to go to unless every reader here was willing to donate $1000 a year to the cause. I don’t suppose there are any takers on that, are there? I’ll leave the basket out just in case.
- August 2nd in Seattle, Washington – Tiki Night at Vessel: This very weekend, on August 2nd, Seattle will be treated to the drink-stylings of Blair “Trader Tiki” Reynolds as he climbs behind the stick for Vessel’s tiki-themed evening.
- August 7 – 9 in Portland, Oregon – Tiki Kon 2009 – Tiki Speakeasy. According to Craig Hermann (aka Colonel Tiki): Tiki Kon is a bar crawl, a home tour, a party and religious (tiki) experience, and draws wonderful people from all
over the West Coast to come and celebrate a love of tiki in Portland, Oregon. Tickets are still available, so go type in the secret password (“bergeron“) and get yours before they disappear.
- August 8 pretty much everywhere – International Tiki Day: Apparently the second Saturday of every August is some sort of cosmic alignment for tikiphiles scattered about the blue ball that we call Earth. On this day we all (tiki and non-tiki alike) raise our glazed mugs with odd-looking faces on them and toast the kitschiest movement ever to bless cocktails.
- August 13 – 16 in San Diego, California - Tiki Oasis 2009: The annual gathering for tikiphiles all over California comes around again with symposiums on rum, tiki, mugs, and music. There’s food, music, good people, and – of course – rum.
- August 16 in the USA – National Rum Day: OK so this isn’t really an “event” that you “attend,” but I’m expecting everyone who is reading this site to find something rummy to do on National Rum Day here in the US – even if you don’t live in the US.
- August 22 in Kona, Hawaii – Don the Beachcomber First Annual Mai Tai Festival: I know most of us think of Trader Vic Bergeron when we think of Mai Tais, but let’s not forget that the Beachcomber also had a Mai Tai recipe that was VASTLY different from Vic’s. Festivities in Kona include a vendor fair, mai tai competition, and a seminar by the one and only Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.
- October 5 in New York, New York – New York Rum Festival: Ed Hamilton and the Ministry of Rum host another in their series of rum festivals around the US. Numerous rums will be available for tasting, along with delicious cocktails and good times. Details on this event are still coming together, but Ed’s events are always top-notch.
- October 24 – 25 in London, UK – UK Rumfest: Ian Burrell and the Rum Experience put on a great conference centered around the world’s greatest spirit every year. Cocktail contests, seminars, fire, and lots and lots of rum tasting make up a wonderful time well-worth a trip to Foggy Londontown. Scotland’s LA Bartenders will be joining in on the fun this year, and Jeff “Beachbum” Berry will be leading a seminar or two.
- Dates TBD in London, UK – London Luau: IP Bartenders are teaming up with the London tiki community to bring you tropical drinks, loud shirts, and suckling pigs. Details are still a bit hazy, but when I get a hold of them, expect to see them posted here. Right now I’m being told that the tippling will likely take place around Halloween.
- Honorable Mentions: In November Martin Cate will be opening Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. Gifted Rums of Florida has new events cropping up all the time, be sure to check out their page or sign up for their newsletter for regular updates.