Tiki Oasis: Retro Vibes in San Diego

Don your loudest shirt and a neon lei and get your vintage on.

THE RETRO NOW: To say that Southern California is still in touch with its '60s-suave, tiki bar-cool, steel guitar-lovin' past is like saying a mai tai has rum. Of course it does, and of course Los Angeles and San Diego remain nostalgia-fueled centers for all things to do with tropical drinks, colorful parasols, nifty bands with a timeless sound, and the sort of waybackery that other cities wished they possessed. Several famous tiki bars still do busy business in both cities and lounge acts with a distinctly space age look live on. You only need to venture to Tiki Oasis, the feisty four-day gathering of retro buffs and lovers of kitschy culture, to see that SoCal is a lei-laden land of all that is lovable about the big-in-the-'60s style aesthetic. The party is ready to roll in all of its cool dress, cool music, cool drinks glory over the middle weekend of August in San Diego. That's...

THURSDAY, AUG. 13 THROUGH SUNDAY, AUG. 16... and, as in years past, The Crowne Plaza Hotel will be a central hub of all the visually over-the-top, sensory-pleasing doings. Hula shows, fabulous vintage vehicle displays, and many bands are on the bill, as is an outdoor marketplace, an ideal spot to stock up on glassware for your home bar or the sort of amazing shirts that one wears when they want everyone within two blocks to see their eye-popping approach. You say you're mad for the Moog and all of the synth-y sounds it makes? There'll be an event for you. You say you want to learn how to play surf guitar -- only surf guitar from outer space? That's happening. You say you want to know more about rum, space rock, pin-up hair, the future as imagined by the past, and the place where sci-fi and spy-fi intersect? Yes to all of the above. They're happening. But you'll need to square away your rooms and such, and line up your own schedule, as this is, without argument, one of the biggest tiki-retro-space bashes around. You know those huge volcano drinks you sometimes see, with the big flame and straws for four people? This is even bigger. Think we're engaging in hyperbole? Au contraire.

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