Categorized | Entertainment, Featured, Food

Honokaa Western Week begins Sunday (May 21)


Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Hopefuls in the paniolo parade. Courtesy photo.

Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Hopefuls in the paniolo parade. Courtesy photo.

Honoka‘a Western Week starts down at the farm and ends up with a rodeo, May 21-29, 2017. The now-legendary Paniolo Parade & Block Party on Friday may be the biggest, but a week filled with activities and events promises something for everyone.

Kick the dust up
To get ready for the hootenany, free Line Dancing classes are underway Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7 p.m., at Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School (HHIS) auditorium. Led by instructor Pauline Dias and presented by Parents for Public School Education-Hawai‘i and HHIS’s Family Academy, line dancing offers a fun way to exercise and relax. Students get a chance to strut their stuff at the May 24 Line Dance party at Honoka‘a People’s Theatre. For more information, contact Susan Wood, 756-0179 or

Hāmākua Harvest
The 2nd Annual Farm Festival Sunday, May 21, brings 40+ vendors to Hāmākua Harvest on Māmāne Street, to celebrate food from farm to table (or truck). Attendees can enjoy a variety of favorites, purchase fresh fruits and veggies from regional farms, learn how to grow their own, and watch cooking demos by island chefs.

The Festival includes five free educational workshops from agriculture professionals, such as composting and soils, tree grafting, green tea, food preservation and pasture management. Entertainment will be provided by slack key master Ben Ka‘ili, the Rachael Scott Band, Dennis Padilla and James Lowe, and the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hāmākua.

There is no charge for admission, and a free shuttle bus (provided by Hāmākua Youth Center) will run from various locations in town to the Farm Festival. For more information, contact or call 640-2506.

The ‘Golden Ladle’

Delicious Portuguese Bean Soup Contest. Courtesy photo.

Delicious Portuguese Bean Soup Contest. Courtesy photo.

Pro chefs and home cooks of all ages are invited to enter the Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread Contest on Tuesday, May 23 in the NHERC Pavilion. Depending on the type and number of entries, prizes will be awarded in various categories, including the coveted “Golden Ladle.” Winners will be recognized in the Paniolo Parade on Friday.

There’s no entry fee, and forms are available online at, or email Contestants will need to prepare enough soup or bread for 50 tastings (about four quarts or four loaves of bread), and bring to the NHERC Pavilion by 4:30 p.m. Costumes and decorations are encouraged.

Saloon Star Search

MC Valerie Poindexter as the sun goes down at the 2016 Block Party. Courtesy photo.

MC Valerie Poindexter as the sun goes down at the 2016 Block Party. Courtesy photo.

Always a crowd-pleaser, the Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Contests give everybody a chance to kick up their heels and release their inner diva onstage at Friday’s Block Party. Folks of all ages encouraged to dress up in their Western duds, bring their best three-minute song, dance, story or other performance, and take a shot at cash prizes. No cost to enter; applications available online at, or from Michelle at Big Island Grown, 775-9777.


Through May 18.
Free Line Dancing classes at Honokaʻa High and Intermediate School. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7 p.m. A great way to get some exercise and get ready to kick the dust up on May 24. To register, contact Susan Wood, 756-0179 or

May 20.
Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information and applications, call Michelle Hartman, 775-9777.

All week, May 21-29.
Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style, visit Honoka‘a town merchants, and enjoy different paniolo-themed activities every day.

Sunday, May 21.
2nd Annual Farm Festival at Hāmākua Harvest, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 40+ vendors, live music and hula, educational presentations, silent auction, keiki activities and more. Located at the intersection of Māmāne Street and Highway 19 in Honoka‘a. No charge for admission.

Monday, May 22.
Stick horse creation at Hāmākua Youth Center, 3-5 p.m. Free.

Tuesday, May 23.
Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread Contest at NHERC Pavilion, 5-8 p.m. Hosted by Gramma’s Kitchen. Applications available online or contact

Wednesday, May 24.
Line Dancing at Honoka‘a People’s Theatre, 6-9 p.m. Food trucks and fancy feet!

Thursday, May 25.
Historic Honoka‘a Town Talk Story at Honoka‘a Library, 4 p.m., featuring Ross Stephenson, author of “Honokaʻa Town,” and Leilani Hino, author/photographer of “Cowboy Kaona,” led by HWW Sheriff Larry Ignacio.
Also Thursday, a “Rowdy Rodeo” at The Landing restaurant, 6-8 p.m.

Friday, May 26.

  • 2-11 p.m., Māmāne Street closed.
  • 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Māmāne Street, with mounted and marching units, pā‘ū riders, gleaming vintage cars and more. Darde “Tita Nui” Gamayo of KAPA Radio will be one of the Parade announcers.
  • 5 p.m., Stick Horse races
  • 6 p.m. Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Contest
  • 7-10 p.m., Block Party and Dancing in the Street, with great Classic Country and Hot Country Rock by the Big Island’s own Bobby Reno Band. Event emceed by Valerie Poindexter.
    Plus, a free “Keiki Corral” for the kids from 5-7 p.m., with carnival-style games, silent auction and a Petting Zoo, provided by Ka Hale O Na Keiki Preschool.
    Epic Silent Auction and Lucky Number Prizes.
    Vendors interested in booth space for the Block Party may contact Dawn Cordeiro at 960-5832,

Saturday, May 27.
“Saturday Slack” events of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo.

Saturday night, 7 p.m.
Maria Muldaur and her Red Hot Bluesiana Band at the Honoka‘a People’s Theatre. Tickets, or 896-4845.

Sunday-Monday, May 28-29.
61st Annual Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo. For more information, contact

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project supported by the Honoka‘a Business Association, Steinlager, SCADA & Control Systems, LLC, and others. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. For more information and entry forms for all events, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook or visit

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

RSS Weather Alerts

  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.