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Catch The New Wave With Tiki Oasis 19

Largest Tiki event in the world continues through Sunday in Mission Valley

The Tiki Oasis stage is pictured, August 8, 2019.

Photo by Beth Accomando

Above: The Tiki Oasis stage is pictured, August 8, 2019.

Tiki Oasis 19 kicked off last night at the Bali Hai and runs Thursday night through Sunday at the Crown Plaza Hotel.

Tiki Oasis is a 19-year-old convention that draws 3,000 people, has dozens of hours of symposiums, and serves as a mecca for people into tiki style. Tiki Oasis boasts that it is the biggest Tiki Weekender on the planet and will quell your wanderlust and quench your thirst.

Tiki Oasis organizer Otto Von Stroheim describes Tiki Oasis as "a convention for people that are into tiki style, it’s sort of the mecca for people, people are coming from all around the world… So people that like sitting on the beach or people who like design or artistic things, you know the architecture and the exterior design of tiki restaurants and interior design of tiki restaurants are really dense and elaborate kind of like a Disneyland ride."

It is meant as an escape from the real world. Each year event organizers Von Stroheim and Baby Doe pick a theme. In the past it’s been beat, hulabilly, exotic espionage, south of the border, and surf city.

This year it is “Catch the New Wave!," an obvious nod toward surf music as well as to the New Wave music of the early 1980s.

The Tiki Oasis website explains: "In the 1980s, simultaneous to New Wave, was the 'Second Wave' in the swell of surf music history, the charge was mainly led by Los Angeles bands like Agent Orange, Jon & the Nightriders, The Insect Surfers, or the gimmicky Surf Punks. At Tiki Oasis 2019 we present acts that relate to 1980s New Wave with a surf or exotica twist, 'Second Wave' surf music, and a few original 'New Wave'-ers to create a totally radical weekend that will leave you stoked."

Photo by Beth Accomando

Tiki Oasis attendees pose for a photo in their swimsuits, August 8, 2019.

For the first time, Tiki Oasis extends its weekender so there are four days plus opening night. It is also the first year that Tiki Oasis has extended its brand to host a Tiki Oasis convention in Arizona.

This year Tiki Oasis will host symposiums on such topics as Hale Akamai: Foam Tiki and Panel Carvings, hula, and Field Guide to Decorating Tiki, as well as kid friendly Tiki Tot Tour with King Kukulele and Kiddie Cocktail. There will also be a Miss Tiki Oasis contest, a car show, an art show, and a Beauty Boutiki. And on Sunday Ram Udwin returns with another San Diego Bartender Battle.

The art show and tiki marketplace featuring a hundred vendors is free to the public during certain hours. You can also buy tickets to enjoy the full Tiki Oasis experience of music, symposiums, and more. So if the real world is too grim, make an escape for a day or two to Tiki Oasis.

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