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Honoka’a Western Week Coming in May

A week wrapped in palaka, paniolo pride and performance rolls out May 17-26, with exciting drama, movies, food events, rededication of the new Honoka‘a Arena, a 90th birthday gala for the Andrade Building and the rollicking fun of Honoka‘a Western Week (HWW).

Honoka'a RodeoSpearheaded by the Honoka‘a Business Association, HWW brings together a lively cast of characters and rich regional history for a week-long celebration. In addition to HWW’s ever-popular Paniolo Parade, Saloon Girl Contest and Mamane Street Block Party, this year’s events ride the range from cultural to historical, food, family fun and more.

Highlights include the touring production of the new play “The Legend of Ko‘olau,” written by Gary T. Kubota with support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Sunday at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater. The play takes place in 1893, when Hawaiian cowhand Ko‘olau single-handedly repelled a militia that had overthrown the Hawaiian queen – and became a legend among his people.

On Monday, Mayor Kenoi and other dignitaries will hold a blessing ceremony and re-dedication of the refurbished “Honoka‘a Rose Andrade Correia Arena.” The new name pays tribute to the family matriarch and benefactor who donated her land to the County of Hawai‘i in support of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club and Hawaii’s paniolo. The restored arena features new covered bleachers, restrooms, concession stand and other improvements. Monday evening’s events continue with a Chili Cook Off at The Landing restaurant.

Honokaa Rodeo

Then on Tuesday, creative hands and imagination work together with the Hāmākua Youth Center group, Calley O’Neill and other area artists to build do-it-yourself stick horses for Friday’s pre-parade stick horse race. Wednesday is Western Movie Night at Honoka‘a Peoples Theater, with a great line up of favorite “horse operas” for all to enjoy.

Thursday is a very special day, as the community is invited to dress up western-style and help celebrate the historic Andrade Building’s 90th Birthday. Beginning at 5 p.m., the evening includes talk story, music by the Country Lads and dancing on the “vintage” ʻ Ōhiʻa Lanai, complete with five of the original barstools. Theme refreshments include “cool sasparilla” and “hot lil’ doggies” for sale, plus custom logo mugs and stadium cups.

The main event, of course, is when the whole town turns cowboy for the Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Friday. Commemorative Honokaʻa Western Week buttons are available now at businesses throughout Honoka’a town for only $3.00 Buttons automatically enter purchasers in the block party lucky number drawing, and are not required for admission to events. However, participants are forewarned that anyone without a button may be subject to “arrest” by roving sheriffs, and locked up in the hoosegow until bail can be arranged (all in good fun, of course).

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honokaʻa Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Sponsors include Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Hawaiʻi CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and many other generous supporters. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. Anyone requiring special assistance, please contact the Committee prior to May 9, 2014. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook.


  • May 9. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information, call Jill Mattos, 808-960-5605 or Lorie Farrell, 808-557-2780.
  • May 17-26. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style and visit Honoka‘a town merchants, plus join in different paniolo-theme activities every night. For information, call Jeanne Keller, 808-775-0530.
  • Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m., “Hanau Ke Aliʻi,” a Hula Drama by Halau Na Kipuʻupuʻu about the life of King Kamehameha, Honokaʻa Peoples Theater.
  • Sunday, May 18, 3 p.m., “The Legend of Koʻolau” at Honokaʻa Peoples Theater. A special theatrical production about a true Hawaiian Cowboy written and performed by some of Hawaii’s foremost theatre personas and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Monday, May 19, 10 a.m. (subject to change) Blessing and re-opening of the newly refurbished Honokaʻa Arena.
  • Monday, May 19. Chili Cook Off hosted by The Landing. Set up at 5 p.m., judging at 8 p.m. Prizes for first, second and third place. For rules and details, please call Evelyn Offenbaker, 430-3593.
  • Tuesday, May 20, 3-5:30 p.m. Stick Horse Workshop. Make-your-own Stick Horse for the Races, with Calley O’Neill and other island artists,at Hāmākua Youth Center.
  • Wednesday, May 21. Western movies at the Peoples Theater
  • Thursday, May 22, 5-8 p.m. Memories of Honoka‘a Western Weeks Past, and blessing of the ʻŌhiʻa Lanai to celebrate the Andrade Building’s 90th birthday

Friday, May 23

  • 2 p.m., Road Closure
  • 3 p.m., Stick Horse Race
  • 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street in Honoka‘a Town
  • 5 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry fundraiser for Honokaʻa High School Track and Soccer Teams
  • 6 p.m., Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests
  • 8 p.m., Dancing in the Street

Saturday, May 24

  • 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo “Saturday Slack.” Rodeo tickets are $7 per person per day in advance $8 at the gate.

Sunday, May 25

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

Monday, May 26

  • 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.


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