I am planning on having an Hawaiian themed party in a few weeks - any suggestions and ideas on how I can do this 'thriftily' will be greatly appreciated.
Kate from Melbourne, Australia
I lived on Oahu for three years long ago, then returned in l981 only to see the beauty almost destroyed with commercialism, but I do remember a lot about the luaus and hookilaus there. Large fruit halves hollowed and refilled with single servings inside each of pineapple, mangos, honeydew, papaya is lovely and most authentic.
If there's one thing I'd stress more than anything, it's the Hawaiian Music. It played constantly there for 24/7, no one seemed to ever sleep. You could invite guests to wear anything floral and their flip-flop sandals and shell jewelry.
Greet them at the door with a few plastic or silk flowered leis for each guest, just as they do for everyone arriving in Hawaii. You can find some sweet floral candles (Pikaki, Plumeria, Gardenia and Orchid fragrances were grown everywhere like wildflowers in the hillsides back then.)
If anyone has a ukulele/deep bongo drums, or can rent them, it would be fun to let several guys practice on them. Candles add to the mood, then you'll be in great shape. Paper umbrellas in all the drinks, stuck in the fruit or meat kebobs. Playbox sand sprinkled around on the patio finishes it off (it can easily be swept up and used in the flower beds or a child's sand box next day after party). Those fish nets with large cork floats, and large colored glass or plastic balls were common.
Enjoy and God bless you. (10/18/2006)
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