It's The Year of the Paniolo. Time For a Rodeo, Hawaiian Style

It's The Year of the Paniolo. Time For a Rodeo, Hawaiian Style

The Big Island's Parker Ranch will host their 46th Annual Independence Day Rodeo and Horse Races on Friday, July 4, in Waimea. For those who have never been, it's a one-of-a-kind experience in Hawaii, set in the picturesque farmland of upcountry Hawaii.

The festivities begin at 9:00 a.m., with a grand entry parade that lasts until noon. Following, a succession of rodeo events featuring paniolo from ranches all over the island include team sorting, double mugging, dally team roping, races and other such events unique to Hawaiian ranching. Of course, there will be a ranch-style feast of local grinds, keiki activities, and booths selling items from the Parker Ranch Store, in addition to local artisan work. If rodeo ain't your thing, then mosey over anyhow, and soak up the glory that is 150,000 acres of ranchland nestled between Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountain range.

A little history lesson: In 1908, Parker Ranch paniolo Ikua Purdy made quite the impression on mainland cowboys (and cowgirls, we're assuming) at the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming. His legend survives today, and thus, Governor Lingle declared 2008 the centennial "Year of the Paniolo". The theme is revisited throughout the July 4th weekend, with a number of spectator and participatory events.

Log on to www.ParkerRanch.com or call 808 885-5669 for more information.

July 4 rodeo tickets are $6, children under 10 are free.

If rodeo ain't your thing, then mosey over anyhow, and soak up the glory that is 150,000 acres of ranchland nestled between Mauna Kea and the Kohala Mountain range.