Back and Badass: Honoka‘a Western Week, May 19-29, 2023
Honoka‘a Western Week is back full force after a three-year pandemic pause. Riding into town May 19-29, the ten-day event series celebrates the community’s paniolo heritage with a roundup of friendly competition, ‘ono food, music, dancing, storytelling, keiki games, and Hāmākua’s special breed of cowboy culture. Grand Marshalls this year are long-time Hāmākua and paniolo people, Waltham and Bernadette Johansen.
On Saturday, May 20, Mamane Street closes 2-11 p.m. for the much-anticipated Western Week Parade and Block Party. Thousands of folks mosey into town from near and far to enjoy the colorful cowboy parade, Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent Contest, along with food trucks, vendor booths, and boot-stompin’ music by the Saddle Road Band.
Another event that folks are hungry for, the Portuguese Bean Soup Contest returns on Tuesday, May 23, at Ahualoa Family Farms Mac Nut Factory. New this year, the Smoke Meat Contest challenges one and all to put their recipes to the test in a friendly, and tasty, competition. Prizes will be awarded in a number of categories, and guests will get the opportunity to sample some family recipes from our historic town. To enter, see the events page.
The HWW crew is very excited to again have its Silent Auction as a virtual online event, from May 19-29. Over the last three years, the Silent Auction has been the most successful fundraiser, which helps connect the island community of today with its agricultural and paniolo roots, and to support scholarships for local youth. The bidding site will open Friday, May 19 at 7 p.m. and close May 29 at 7 p.m. Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to participate in the success of this year's Silent Auction with a donated item or service. Please contact Myrna Green at (808) 960-0366 for more information. All donations of any size or value are greatly appreciated.
Except for a nominal charge for rodeo admission, events are free, and everyone is encouraged to join in the fun. Collectible HWW buttons will be available to purchase for $5 as a show of support, as well as “insurance.” Although buttons are not required for admission, attendees receive fair warning that those without buttons at the Block Party risk being thrown into the hoosegow by roving sheriffs. (All in good fun).
Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project supported by the Honoka‘a Business Association, Hāmākua Kohala Health, and many other sponsors and supporters celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. At this time the HWW crew is actively recruiting:
- Western Week Parade Entries. Contact Kai Carvalho (808) 640-6095, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saloon Girls and Cowboys Got Talent hopefuls. Please contact Desiree.email@example.com , or apply online at https://bit.ly/sgcgt23_app
- Volunteers and Vendors for the Block Party. Email Ta’sa McDonald, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contestants for Portuguese Beach Soup/Smoke Meat Contest. Email Mallion, email@example.com , or apply online at bit.ly/3K5196F
- Vendors and volunteers for Hāmākua Harvest Farm Festival, Email Tanner Keys, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Silent Auction items. Contact Myrna Green at (808) 960-0366, or email@example.com
- All other volunteers or donors, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course monetary support is more than welcome! 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 and check out our events page!