As far as interesting subcultures go, tikiphiles are some of the most fun folks around. Of course, that's partly because they wear loud shirts and rum essentially runs through their veins.
"Yeah, rum is the underlining factor that ties it all together," jokes Otto von Stroheim, one of the producers of Tiki Oasis, the annual four-day Polynesian-pop lifestyle convention and party. "Seriously, though, there are a lot of cocktail opportunities, but that's certainly not the only thing going on," he says. "The tiki genre covers all elements of culture—food, music, visual art and so on—and they're all represented at the event."
Happening from Thursday, Aug. 13, through Sunday, Aug. 16, at Bali Hai restaurant in Shelter Island and Crowne Plaza in Mission Valley, Tiki Oasis is packed with exotic things to do and see. As usual, three-day tickets are already sold out but you can still tap into the event, which has a futuristic theme this year, by stopping by the hotel during the day to see the art exhibition, shop the marketplace or see the vintage car show. You can also still buy tickets to the Sunday night musical showcase for $25 online ($30 at the door) or purchase the $10-$40 tickets to the workshops, presentations and panel discussions happening throughout the weekend at this year's symposium.
Penny Starr Jr., for example, will be leading a talk and fashion show on "Sci-Fashion: A History of Sci-Fi Costume Design." Kelly Patterson will be doling out tips on how to host the mid-century space-age party of your dreams. Don Preston will teach aspiring musicians how to play the Moog synthesizer. Sven Kirsten will show off his archive in his presentation, "Treasures of Tiki Archeology."
"And we have a seminar with Jonathan Knowles who's a forward-thinker," von Stroheim says. "He has a software company and his title is something like, 'Creator of the Future.' He's one of those Google or Facebooky-type people who have to think about what will happen in 50 years. I don't know what he's going to talk about but I know it'll be interesting."
TODAY'S TOM SAWYER
Shania? No, that Twain sang insipid country-pop songs. Twainfest is a celebration of one of the greatest writers of all-time. Mark Twain's genius will be read aloud by San Diego actors from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, at Old Town State Historic Park. Other great writers from the 19th century—including Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and Edgar Allan Poe—will also be honored during the fest. There'll be sack races, ring toss and games of marbles (don't lose yours). Prof. Pudd'nhead & Co. will do "Punch and Judy" puppet shows. Study up to play literary games like Fish For Words, Chortle This and Telegraph Crunch. Once you've passed the Literary Test, you're eligible to vote in the Election of 1872. Then, good luck in the Liar's Contest (No, it's not the next GOP debate).
GO INTO THE NIGHT
ArtWalk seems so synonymous with Little Italy, it's hard to believe the event's also been taking place at NTC in Point Loma for a decade now. ArtWalk NTC happens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, and Sunday, Aug. 16, at Ingram Plaza (2645 Historic Decatur Road) and the festival will have its usual attractions—street food, booze and vendors galore. This year, local artist and Academy Award-winning-documentary star Inocente, whom we featured on our cover a few weeks ago, will debut her latest pieces, and Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame will pop by each afternoon to meet fans. Other artists include printmaker Gregory Bada, ceramicist Paula Collins, oil painter McKenzie Fisk and dozens more.
Does your event deserve to be featured here? Email Kinsee Morlan.