The Makawao Stampede Rodeo: A Celebration of Tradition, Music, and Community

Posted by Island Sotheby's International Realty on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023 at 7:32am

The Makawao Rodeo and Stampede has a storied history dating back to 1955 when a group of local cowboys organized the inaugural event to celebrate their ranching heritage. What began as a small-scale rodeo has evolved into one of the most anticipated and beloved traditions on the island of Maui. For over six decades, the rodeo has preserved the cultural significance of horsemanship and the cowboy lifestyle in Hawaii. This annual extravaganza brings together cowboys, cowgirls, and rodeo enthusiasts from all over to celebrate the rich heritage of ranching and the paniolo. With its thrilling showcase of horsemanship and roping skills, vibrant atmosphere, and touch of Hawaiian charm, the Makawao Rodeo Fest promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages. 

The Makawao Stampede Rodeo offers a diverse range of events to captivate audiences of all ages. Spectators can witness the thrill of barrel racing, where horse and rider weave through a cloverleaf pattern at breakneck speeds. Bull riding at the Bull Bash, one of the most exhilarating events, pits brave cowboys against fierce bulls, showcasing strength, balance, and sheer determination. Team roping demonstrates the remarkable partnership between a header and a heeler as they work together to rope a steer in the fastest time possible. These events, among others, showcase the skill and courage required in the world of rodeo.

Beyond the adrenaline-fueled action, the Makawao Stampede Rodeo fosters a deep sense of community spirit. Locals, as well as visitors, come together to celebrate and preserve their shared heritage. The event provides a platform for ranching families, cowboys, and cowgirls to showcase their talent and dedication, passing down their knowledge and traditions to future generations. The rodeo also serves as a fundraiser supporting the Maui Youth Rodeo Organization.

This year the festivities are extended to two weekends. On Saturday, June 24, the festivity will officially commence beginning at 9 am with a vibrant parade that winds its way through the charming streets of historic Makawao. Mounted units, walking groups, classic cars, and more will come together in a colorful display that showcases the town's deep connection to its cowboy roots. The parade serves as a nod to the past while embracing the present, captivating onlookers of all ages.

As the parade culminates at the Oskie Rice Event Center (Gates open at 10 am), the scene will transform into a country music extravaganza. At 1 pm, the stage will come alive with an incredible lineup of performers (including Melveen Leed) captivating the audience with their talent and soulful melodies. From local gems to renowned headliners, the country concert promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning for more. Be sure to purchase your concert tickets in advance.

The Rodeo itself gets moving on Friday, June 30th with morning and evening events. The Rodeo Qualifications begin at 9 am and the evening events include a Country Concert featuring Hawaii’s own Waylon Nihipali beginning at 5 pm and then the Bull Bash at 7 pm. The concert is included in the tickets to the Bull Bash.

Saturday and Sunday gates open at 10 am with entertainment beginning at 11 am and the Rodeo Performance commencing at 1 pm. Tickets are required to enter the arena for the weekend events. Remember, parking is available for $5 per car, so be sure to have cash on hand when you arrive.

The Makawao Stampede Rodeo is more than just a thrilling showcase of rodeo skills and events. It represents a cultural touchstone, preserving the cowboy heritage and fostering community bonds on the island of Maui. As visitors and locals gather each year, they are treated to an unforgettable experience that combines the spirit of the Wild West with the vibrant Aloha spirit. The Makawao Rodeo and Stampede embodies the fusion of tradition, excitement, and community.


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