Another Year, Another Tiki on a Rose Parade Float

The Bachelor float at the 2016 Rose Parade

If you watched the 2016 Rose Parade in Pasadena, you might have noticed that there were a couple tikis on the float “Love is the Greatest Journey” for the romantic reality show “The Bachelor.”

Hot tub on The Bachelor float at the 2016 Rose Parade

Granted, they might have been easy to miss since the tikis were next to a hot tub filled with girls in bikinis. The new Bachelor himself, Ben Higgins, was sitting up on a lifeguard stand nearby. According to the official description, the setting is supposed to reflect “the most anticipated highlight of the season — the romantic fantasy adventure date on an exotic tropical beach.” (Out of curiosity, I took a look at some of the upcoming season’s spoiler speculations on RealitySteve.com and it sounds like they actually went to the Caribbean, not Polynesia.)

Tiki on The Bachelor float

Anyway, my boyfriend is of the opinion that “if you’ve seen one (float), you’ve seen ’em all.” I have to admit that this year, he may have a point. When we went to the post-parade float viewing, I noticed that the tikis were quite similar to the ones from last year’s Dole float, Rhythm of Hawaii.

Tikis on 2016 Rose Parade float

Both floats were produced by the company Fiesta Parade Floats, so it’s not that surprising. There are some slight differences in the mouths and headdresses, but it seems obvious that they reused the molds or base.

2016 Rose Parade float

That wasn’t the only moment of deja vu, though. It looks like they also reproduced the water effect from last year, right down to the white onions in the waves. I wonder if we’ll see the tikis again next year?

Related Posts:
Tikis on Dole’s 2015 Rose Parade Float “Rhythm of Hawaii”
The City of Downey’s 2012 Tiki Float “Enchanted Paradise”

2015 Tiki Gift Guide for the Holidays – $20 and Under

Snappy Holidays cards and gift wrap by Sophista-Tiki

Now that Thanksgiving is done, it’s full speed ahead to the holidays. In this annual gift guide, I like to spotlight a few fun tiki finds from the last year or so. They’re fairly easy on the pocketbook, too, since they’re all $20 or less.

1. Snappy Holidays Cards and Gift Wrap by Sophista-Tiki

Seattle-based artist Dawn Frasier aka “Sophista-Tiki” brings some mid-century modern flair to the festive season with her “Snappy Holidays” cards and wrapping paper. In her Etsy shop, you can pick up a set of three cards plus a dozen gift tags for $6.50. Meanwhile, the matching gift wrap rolls ($15) in red, green and white can be found on Spoonflower. (Bonus: Spoonflower is offering free shipping just for Cyber Monday!)

Beachbum Berry's Tiki Cocktail Picks

2. Beachbum Berry’s Tiki Cocktail Picks from Cocktail Kingdom

Got some amateur (or pro) bartenders on your shopping list? Help them up their garnish game with Beachbum Berry’s Tiki Cocktail Picks ($11.95 for 36-pack; bulk discounts available). These hot pink spears are modeled after the logo of tiki mixology guru Jeff Berry, complete with his signature straw hat. They’re the latest product from Cocktail Kingdom’s “Tiki” collection, which also includes a Navy Grog ice cone kit, Pearl Diver glass, skull barspoon and swizzle cup.

Ken Ruzic Coloring Book

3. Ken Ruzic Coloring Book

Coloring books are no longer just for the Crayola crowd. It seems like people of all ages are using them as a creative outlet and de-stressing tool. This coloring book from artist Ken Ruzic presents 22 black-and-white drawings adapted from his tiki art, including the inspiration for a piece from Tiki Farm’s 15th anniversary exhibition. It’s for sale for $20 from Wacko / Soap Plant / La Luz de Jesus Gallery’s website.

Tiki Matchbooks calendar by Tom Hofer

4. 2016 Tiki Matchbooks Calendar by Tom Hofer

Tom Hofer creates paper collages designed to look like giant vintage matchbooks. (Bootlegger Tiki in Palm Springs has one up on the wall.) For the past few years, he’s offered “Tiki Matchbooks” calendars featuring his art along with dozens of images of the matchbooks that inspired him. The 2016 version is available on his web site for $15, including shipping (or two for $25).

Martini Kings Palm Springs Serenade red vinyl

5. The Martini Kings “Palm Springs Serenade” Red Vinyl

Everything seems to be red and green this time of year, so why not your vinyl, too? Dionysus Records recently released the final run of The Martini Kings’ “Palm Springs Serenade” album, this time pressed on red 180 gram vinyl. Featuring a cover illustration by Shag, the album is a compilation of the combo’s favorite jazz-lounge-exotica tracks from their CD releases. You can order the LP for $17.95 (including a digital download code) at Dionysus Records’ website.

Related Posts:
2014 Tiki Holiday Gift Guide
2013 Tiki Holiday Gift Guide
2012 Tiki Holiday Gift Guide

Mondo Tiki! – Tiki Farm’s 15th Anniversary Exhibition

Tiki Farm sign

Tiki Farm is the king of modern tiki mug manufacturing. For 15 years, founder Holden Westland and his team have collaborated with super-talented artists to create more than 2,000 designs. La Luz de Jesus gallery in Los Angeles is hosting an exhibition of mugs along with art from Tom Laura aka “BigToe,” Scott “Flounder” Scheidly, Doug Horne and Ken Ruzic. There’s also a retro-futuristic solo show, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” from Michelle Bickford.

Mug cases by Bamboo Ben

While the 10th anniversary exhibition rounded up examples of practically every mug Tiki Farm ever produced, this time around the display features 500 of the “most important and coveted selections.” Bamboo Ben customized the eight cases of shelves with bamboo and thatch A-frames.

Bahooka mug and others by The Pizz

Most of the mugs are arranged chronologically, but one of the sections groups together designs by The Pizz, Tiki Farm’s late art director. Seeing so many of my favorites here, like the Bahooka Ruffus mug, for instance, brings home how big a part he played at the company. (Holden penned a beautiful tribute to his friend in the latest issue of Tiki Magazine & More.)

Clifton's owl mug

I’m pretty content with my collection, but this exhibit is full of temptations. This stately mug (by The Pizz) for the recently re-opened Clifton’s Cafeteria caught my eye. It kind of reminds me of the Maltese Falcon … except it’s an owl. I actually ended up visiting that downtown LA landmark the same weekend, but unfortunately they’re out of stock of this style — I hope they get more soon!

Tiki Farm 15th anniversary mugs

Each of the featured artists also designed new mugs in honor of Tiki Farm’s 15th anniversary, including Ken Ruzic’s Poko Ono Pineapple Mug, BigToe’s Bobomb (the iconic Tiki Bob transformed into a hand grenade complete with a pin) and the Rub for Rum Easter Island Tiki Decanter ($75) by Michelle Bickford.

Doug Horne tiki mugs

In the middle is Doug Horne’s Tiki Farm Temple Mug (with holders on the back for Tiki Farm’s anniversary swizzle sticks) and on the right is Flounder’s Nari Rani Marquesan Mug. There were limited edition glazes ($50 each) released at the event — a few are still available on Soap Plant’s website — and Tiki Farm just made the other versions (priced around $20) available for order.

Close-up of "Too Much Information" painting by Ken Ruzic

The artists even incorporated their mug designs into the paintings, as you can see in this close-up look at Ken Ruzic’s “Too Much Information.” I love the whimsical style and incredible details, especially paired with this carved frame by Derek Weaver.

Mondo Tiki catalog

Tiki Farm also made a 40-page booklet ($5) listing all the designs created since 2000, plus some photos and little anecdotes about the process. We also get a sneak peek at some mugs that are in development. There’s some exciting stuff in the works, like a 60th anniversary mug for Oceanic Arts, two new designs for Tiki-Ti, a mug for Tiki Tolteca in New Orleans and a rum barrel/bulldog for Idle Hour in North Hollywood.

Art by Scott Scheidly

Mondo Tiki! is on view until November 29th at La Luz de Jesus. On Saturday, November 28th, Holden, BigToe and Ken will do a “docent tour” from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. to discuss the mugs and art and take questions. You can also see all the art (like Flounder’s gorgeous “Sea Goddess” pictured here) on the website for the gallery.