Tiki Flower Island Escape White Crane Events
With the world opening up, we are seeing the return to larger scale functions. And for those not quite ready to return to the Vancouver downtown night life scene, smaller dancing and drinking options are available via EventBrite. One such event was made available to myself, and I took advantage to attend a Hawaiian themed Luau hosted by White Crane Event.
Branded as a Tiki Flower Island Escape, the event was held at Brockton Pavilion, within Stanley Park. It promised music and dancing by way of a live DJ, cocktails at a fee, at the pavilion bar, and games to engage guests.
With such events you never know what to expect. There is no previous track record to reference, no testimonials to lean on. So I decided to be the one to provide it.
I went in with my most tropical sun dress, dawning small beads around my neck, and a pattern of flowers on my cast (I broke my wrist snowboarding and this was the consequence of my action. Full review of that experience to come).
The event is of a smaller scale and more casually run. The fee of the ticket cost well reflected the event’s optics. There were minimal decorations set up; majority of it was hand made, which gave things a more intimate, house party touch.
An “Aloha” poster marked the entrance with an employee seated at the door, checking off names. Here, it would have been nice to be given a lei, as is the customary and/or expected greeting at any Hawaiian themed function. However, as guests were invited to come dressed for the part, many attendees brought their own. A few incorporated hibiscus florals into their outfits, some men wore Hawaiian shirts, and a few women even had grass skirts.
Paper garlands of pineapple and hula girls led those checked in, upstairs. Past a cake decorated like a flamingo (that we would not get to eat) and a homemade cardboard box tiki-totem.
Upstairs the space opened up for mingling. The DJ and dance floor on one end with strobing lights. A dessert table with cakes for purchase on the other end. And a bar that centred both.
The desserts felt out of place. Presented as a whole and cut down to slices for those who paid. Outside of the pineapple segments topping two of the varieties, and the use of tropical fruit floaties to present them, they didn’t read tiki. Not to mention, when drinking or partying, I don’t tend to associate cakes with my cocktails. I could have done with a grilled cheese and/or deep fried bar, instead. Something to bring out later in the evening, to feed those tipsy and to elongate the night. In doing so, this would have extended the drinking experience for many as well.
Similarly, a welcome cocktail for all ticket holders would have been nice. A glass to get the blood bubbling, and additional drink orders flowing. Instead, the bar was pay as you go. And truth be told, the bartender was less experienced. First, he did not come dressed for the part. He looked like the coach of the rugby team that frequents the club house we were in. Not to mention he looked lost behind the register. I ordered top shelf tequila and was offered bourbon instead. My vodka cranberry was whisky and a juice of some sort. I drank it all, and didn’t complain as the line was long with just the one man behind this post. Plus, I needed the edge off for the event to come.
Our third beverage was a tropical cocktail available with straws and toppers that matched the theme better.
The room was sparse and in order to have the guests more relaxed and socializing, an ice breaker game was initiated. Each player got a bingo card, which had you introducing yourself to other guests, in order to collect their secret word. However there were no pens available (I asked the staff), and was told to borrow one from someone who had a pen. This definitely hindered our progression in the game. That and the fact that many players had the same cards and same secret word as my guest and myself, so we were unable to progress.
The highlight of the evening was the hula performance, which we were all gathered to watch. 3 generations of women paying respects to their culture through their swaying of hips. Guests were able to take photos of them after their performance.
We would leave shortly after that. Truthfully I didn’t know what to expect and came in to this with an open mind. However, looking back at this recap, I feel this scene isn’t for the likes of someone as rowdy as myself and/or my guest. Truth be told the whole arrangement felt more like a high school reunion, with middle aged adults. Such an event is better suited to those who may have anxieties surrounding meeting new people and socializing openly. A safe space for those to let loose and have fun.
I am appreciative of the experience, and am happy to recap it for you here. Hopefully those reading it found it constructive and helpful the next time they are eyeballing an EventBrite occasion.