HONOKAA, Hawaii – Western Week was held this Memorial Day weekend in Honokaa. Cathey Tarleton sent this media release on behalf of the annual festival, and Sarah Anderson contributed these photos.
Herds of people filled the streets of Honoka‘a town Friday, celebrating what was officially proclaimed by Governor Neil Abercrombie as “Honoka‘a Western Week” in Hawai‘i. Kahu and paniolo Larry Ignacio, dressed the part with chaps and six-shooter, read the proclamation to open Friday’s festivities, attended by over 2,000 people.
Mamane Street closed at 2 p.m., to prep for the Paniolo Parade and set up food and vendor booths, a stage for live country music, crowning of the Rodeo Queens by visiting Miss Rodeo Colorado Rhianna Russell, and exciting Stick Horse Races for keiki, emceed by Dominic Yagong. At 3 p.m., more than 40 horses and riders paraded through town, including Mayor Billy Kenoi and Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, styling authentic garb.
Earlier in the week, the Andrade Building in town hosted a gala re-opening of the ʻŌhiʻa Lanai, celebrating its 90th anniversary. The refurbished rodeo arena opened on Monday, named the “Rose Andrade Correia Stadium,” in honor of the Andrade family matriarch and benefactor who donated her land to the County of Hawai‘i in support of Hawai‘i Saddle Club and Hawaii’s paniolo.
The Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo continues through Monday, May 26.
Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honokaa Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club celebrating Hamakua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Sponsors include Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Hawaiʻi CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Kamehameha Schools, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Ramos Ranch, Steinlager, Paradise Beverages, Big Island Toyota, DeLuz Trucking, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Andrade Building, Hapai Enterprises, and many other generous supporters.Honoka’a Western Week
The excitement over Western Week built with the dedication of the Rose Andrade Correia Stadium in Honokaa on Monday May 19th.