Grab your favorite cowgirl and cowboy gear and head to Honokaa May 19-26 for the community’s exciting Western Week.
Catherine Tarleton, spokeswoman for the event, said the celebration is replete with activities for keiki and adults alike.
‘This event is one of those that really, truly offers something for everyone. It’s fun for mom, dad, the rowdy, dance and party fun type. There’s things for the kids, a rodeo,” she said. “I’m amazed, inspired and admire Honokaa and the community’s enthusiasm.”
Spearheaded by the Honokaa Business Association, Honokaa Western Week brings together a lively cast of characters and rich regional history for a week-long celebration.
The western-inspired week will also host a parade and a 90th birthday gala for the Andrade Building.
Today, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and other dignitaries will hold a blessing ceremony and re-dedication of the refurbished “Honokaa Rose Andrade Correia Arena.”
According to a press release, the new name pays tribute to the family matriarch and benefactor who donated her land to the County of Hawaii in support of the Hawaii Saddle Club and Hawaii’s paniolo. The restored arena features new covered bleachers, restrooms, concession stand and other improvements. There will be a chili cookoff at The Landing restaurant that night as well.
In addition to the Paniolo Parade, there will be a Saloon Girl Contest and a Mamane Street Block Party.
Volunteer Lorie Farrell, who is involved with the Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent contests, said she’s been a part of the community for 10 years and has seen the event grow.
“We’ve modified it several ways. We’ve tired to spread it over a week, one day, or over a weekend. Went back to the weeklong event and it seemed to have brought in more of the community,” she said.
On Tuesday, Calley O’Neill and other area artists will build do-it-yourself stick horses for Friday’s pre-parade stick horse race.
Wednesday is Western Movie Night at Honokaa People’s Theater, with a great lineup of favorite “horse operas” for all to enjoy.
The community is invited to dress up in Western attire and help celebrate the historic Andrade Building’s 90th Birthday on Thursday. Beginning at 5 p.m., the evening includes a talk story, music by the Country Lads and dancing on the “vintage” Ohia 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 is when the whole town turns cowboy for the Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Friday. Commemorative Honokaa Western Week buttons are available now at businesses throughout Honokaa town for only $3.
Buttons automatically enter purchasers into the block party lucky number drawing and are not required for admission to events. 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).
Honokaa Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honokaa Business Association, The Hamakua Farm Bureau and the Hamakua Lion’s Club celebrating Hamakua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Sponsors include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter and many other generous supporters.
For more information, follow Honokaa Western Week on Facebook.
Email Megan Moseley mmoseley@hawaiitribune- herald.com.