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Countdown to 2008 Tiki Opening Day

April 15, 2008
Just think, in three short days, the Tiki Bar on tiny Solomons Island launches a new season. Beginning at noon on Friday, April 18, the doors will open and the quiet, quaint island will be transformed into an international Mecca for party revelers across the globe.

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Then at 4 p.m., the Tiki King will arrive with his grass-skirted entourage and bless the new season in high style before an projected 15,000 people that will attend that day and who have looked forward to this party-to-end-all-parties all winter long.

According to Terry Clarke, a co-owner of the landmark, “This place was already an institution when we [and partner Pat Donovan] bought it.”

“We even have people sailing in from Singapore,” smiled Joe Kurley, the facility’s affable, gregarious general manager. Curly admits that in his eight years with the Tiki Bar, they have seen pretty much everything.

“We have a couple that attends every year from Guam, an editor from the Boston Globe sails down and makes this a stop each year and couples meet, fall in love and return each year for this weekend,” Clarke added.

“We want people to come and enjoy the experience, relax and to be able to have a good time,” Clark said. “We try to plan for everything – traffic, parking, transportation, sanitation, clean-up and security. We want people to be safe and happy.”

The Tiki Opening has grown into an annual grand opening weekend for all of Solomons Island. Many of Solomons Island’s other merchants open that same weekend.

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“They ask us to pay extra for it, but we bring a lot of income to the area. This year we are bringing in 57 portable toilets, quiet a few roll-offs [dumpsters] and take care of it all ourselves,” laughed Clarke.” Clarke mentioned that all the area hotels are booked, and that area businesses and restaurants also reap the benefit from the influx of visitors.

As workers scurry around fixing a few things that are in need of repair, the entertainment icon seems eerily deserted, but come this Friday, that will all change and Solomons Island will, once again, become the party capital of the world – at least for one brief weekend after a very long winter.

For those unable to attend, TheBayNet.com will offer exclusive and extensive live coverage of the event.

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