AutoMatters & More: Tiki Oasis 2023 in San Diego
What is Tiki Oasis? The organizers tell us that “Tiki Oasis is the original and largest Tiki event in the world. Tiki Oasis proudly brings to San Diego five nights and four days of live music, dancing, pool lounging, sunset dinners, disc jockeys, educational seminars, a bustling Marketplace of over 150 artists and makers, tropical cocktails curated by top mixologists, art exhibit, book signing and so much more.”
While that is accurate and pretty much describes what this wonderful event is, you really need to delve into the details to get a good sense for what it is like to experience it. Using the organizers’ overview as a guide, I’ll expand upon some specifics here, to better share that experience with you, including a few of the over 4,000 pictures that I shot!
Tiki Oasis has settled nicely into its new venue in San Diego, and it has really found its stride. While the previous venue did have its own site-related history, as the years have passed that has become an increasingly distant memory, replaced by the here and now. To get a sense of that history, search for TIKI OASIS on the Home Page of the AutoMatters.net website to see my photos and read about past celebrations of Tiki Oasis in San Diego — especially pre-COVID 19.
This year, rather than searching for and trying to relive past fond memories of Tiki Oasis, I approached my task more from the perspective of someone for whom this may have been their very first Tiki Oasis. Attending with that perspective, I tried to see and do as much as possible. I even saw significant aspects of Tiki Oasis that I had never experienced before — including the Midnight Burlesque on Saturday night!
The Polynesian atmosphere was established right from the beginning, with swaying palm trees at the entrance to the Town and Country Resort. Several classic cars were parked curbside at the entrance.
For those who are even the least bit interested in tiki memorabilia, the temptation of finding something to buy in the large and well-stocked Marketplace was too hard to resist. The unique, hand-crafted items in the art show and sale sold quickly, as they always do.
To quench your thirst with delicious concoctions, numerous tastings were offered to do just that —of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. One seminar — titled “Tiki Without Tipsy” — was about the growing non-alcoholic cocktail movement. Hosted by Kyle Rioux, this informative seminar also included tastings and giveaways.
High on my list of recommendations is the annual audio/visual presentation by pop culture expert Charles Phoenix. This year’s adventure was aptly entitled “Catalinaland.” He captivated us with his stories and photos about Catalina that included its history, unique architecture, the Wrigley family, the 1929 Art Deco Casino (it is not really a casino), shopping, dining and much more. I highly recommend his illustrated books.
Robert Short took us behind the scenes to show us the making of two classic Disney films: “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “SPLASH.”
“The Jungle” was a live, fun-filled podcast taping by David “Dr. Skipper” Marley and Trevor Kelly. We were treated to their hilarious accounts of what it had been like to work at Disneyland — especially as a skipper on the Jungle cruise. Let’s just say that it might be just as well for their employment prospects that they no longer work there, and leave it at that.
Participatory activities included one in which people in a swimming pool were taught how to model for underwater photography.
The last ballroom event of the year for Tiki Oasis is the annual Bartender Battle, in which a few of the best bartenders in San Diego compete to see who will be the year’s Tiki Oasis bartending champion. In addition to the cocktails that they prepared for the judges, the large number of attendees also sampled their entries.
Next year Tiki Oasis will again be celebrated at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. The dates will be July 31 to Aug. 4, 2024. For more information about this event as it becomes available, and to find out about tickets and reserving a room at the event hotel, be sure to visit tikioasis.com.
To explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, with the most photos and the latest text, visit “AutoMatters & More” at https://automatters.net. Search by title or topic in the Search Bar in the middle of the Home Page, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes and browse.
Copyright © 2023 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #803
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