It’s February and that means it’s rodeo time in East Hawaii.
And who better to oversee all the events, skilled and scary, than nationally renowned rodeo clown JJ Harrison and announcer Buster Barton.
The fun starts Saturday, Feb. 15, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 16.
“I’ve traveled literally from the East to the West coasts doing rodeos all over the mainland … and nothing compares to the uniqueness that is the Panaewa Stampede Rodeo,” Harrison said. “From its family atmosphere to its dangerous bull events … the fans love it! I have become a huge fan myself of the great Hawaiian cowboys. You don’t want to be sitting at home ’cause we don’t want to do it without you … but we will.” “This year’s special spectator event with the bulls will be ‘Beach Ball Hula Bulls,’ where those brave or crazy enough to ‘play’ with a bull may win $500,” said Nancy Cabral, rodeo secretary. “This hilarious, and often dangerous, escapade entails volunteer spectators (older than 18 years of age and willing to sign a waiver) each standing inside a Hula Hoop in the arena. Holding a rubber beach ball for added protection as the bull is released into the arena, the last person still standing inside their Hula Hoop wins $500.”
“Of course, the rodeo will also have traditional events, including bull riding, bronco riding, team roping, barrel racing and a grand opening ceremony with the rodeo queen and her court,” Cabral added. “In addition, there will be events only done in Hawaii, such as Po‘o Wai U and double mugging.”
“Cowboys, cowgirls and keiki from throughout Hawaii, with some contestants from the mainland, will compete for saddles, buckles and money prizes,” said Patti Day, 2014 rodeo contact coordinator.
The rodeo takes place at the Panaewa Equestrian Center, off of Highway 11, next to the zoo. Events start at noon Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
Presale Tickets are $6 and available from rodeo queen contestants and at Coldwell Banker Day-Lum Properties at 2 Kamehameha Ave. in Hilo. Entrance at the gate is $8. Children 12 years old and younger are free.
Find more information about the rodeo, visit www.hawaiirodeostampede.com.