Want to build your own tropical hideaway?
Tiki-Ko has partnered with the Central California Tiki Group for a Saturday market event featuring approximately 20 vendors who will help outfit your home tiki bar and yourself.
Wayne Stonecipher, one of the founders of Central California Tiki, said it was born out of the desire of area tiki fans to come together, share resources and, of course, enjoy tiki culture.
“One of the things that drew me to the tiki community is its positivity,” he said. “And escapism is tiki. These days you need all the positivity you can get.”
The group has about 600 members who engage through Facebook and now meet in person. Many are from central California or have ties to the area.
With most California tiki bars in Los Angeles or the Bay Area, tiki lovers located somewhere in the middle have to get creative, Stonecipher said. Some Central California Tiki events have involved visiting members’ home bars, which can range from a simple bar area to a full venue like that of Mark and Kelly Skipper, aka Skipper’s global headquarters, one of the vendors of Saturday.
“You think you’re walking into a restaurant,” Stonecipher said of the Skippers’ spacious living room, which they call The Overlook.
Whether or not they can afford an elaborate home setup, tiki fans can still replicate some of the look and fun atmosphere of their favorite watering holes with decor, art and souvenirs offered by vendors.
“We help you build it at home,” the Fresno-based tiki enthusiast said of the market.
Stonecipher and Tiki-Ko co-owners Roy Scarazzo said they model this Bakersfield market around similar events like the Original Tiki Market Place, held at Garden Grove Elks Lodge, and TikiLand Trading Co. in Santa Ana.
“This is where (my wife) Sonya and I went when we were planning for the opening of Tiki-Ko,” Scarazzo said of the long-running Garden Grove event. “There were a lot of people there who helped us.”
“I can’t go to these (events) anymore,” said the bar’s owner, who remains busy operating the original bar as well as its basement sister spot, The Sinking Ship. “So we said, ‘Let’s bring it here’.”
Saturday’s event will take place in the parking lot across from Tiki-Ko on K Street. Vendors, selling art, vintage and tiki clothing, home decor and handmade creations, will will be settling with food vendors Countryside Market, which will have its award-winning green chile mac and cheese, and Jerry’s Pizza, which Stonecipher says would have Hawaiian specialty pizza and possibly Spam mac and cheese.
Vendors include Rarabird, aka artist Laura Harper, with fine art and handmade hair flowers; Kevin Lively, aka Skipper Kevin, a former Disney Imagineer and Jungle Cruise skipper selling “tropical art and curiosities”; custom lamp make Tiki Vato; Brian “B-Rex” Rechenmacher, known for his art, barware, clothing and accessories; and Shawna Marie Tice aka The Pleated Peacock, an artist, “tiki haberdashery” and floral designer (who decorated Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room); top artist Stephen DelTour Jr. (created2r); and Mischief Motu, creator of “Exotic Drift Good” custom woodcarvings.
In addition to food, bottled water will be available at the event as well as cocktails at the Sinking Ship, which will open early at noon. Scarazzo said they will have a few specialty drinks available for $10 (or $8 with a coupon given by vendors upon purchase).
Jill Martini and the Shrunken Heads will perform and DJ Chuck 1 will provide music throughout the day.
In addition to shopping opportunities, the event will give group members a chance to congregate and socialize, Stonecipher said.
“I can’t wait to see people who haven’t been to other events join the community,” Stonecipher said.
“That’s what we’re building: a tiki community for central California.”
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.