HONOKA‘A, Hawaii – The Honoka‘a community gathered to dedicate the Rose Andrade Correia Stadium at the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena on Monday.
The $3.1 million project resulted in a covered 1,200-seat Stadium, replacing old bleachers that were exposed to the elements. The comfort station and judges’ stand were also replaced. There’s a new concession stand, and ramps and parking spaces were added to make the facility fully accessible to people with disabilities.
The county says the facility is named for lifetime Honoka‘a resident Rose Andrade Correia, a member of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club who helped develop the vision that led to the construction of the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena.
Monday’s event included a blessing by Deacon Larry Ignacio and a presentation by the Andrade ‘Ohana. In fact, thirteen year old Leiana Rose Andrade Stout – the great-granddaughter of Rose Andrade Correia -was one of the first people to ride in the new arena, showing her skills running around barrels on her horse Piko. “My great grandma didn’t do this for her. She did this for me, and my children, and my grandchildren. I think she would be pretty proud,” Andrade Stout said.
There were also remarks by Hawai‘i County Councilmember Valerie Poindexter and Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This rodeo arena is one of the important gathering places in Hāmākua. It was important to make this beautiful, and to make it to last for generations to come,” said Poindexter.
Today’s opening kicked off Honoka‘a Western Week. The rodeo arena’s first event will be the 58th Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo on Sunday and Monday, May 25 and 26, which will include more than 350 contestants from Hawai‘i and the mainland.