55th Annual Makawao Parade, 4th of July Stampede Rodeo Canceled Due to COVID-19

May 28, 2020, 8:18 AM HST · Updated May 28, 8:18 AM
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54th Annual Makawao Rodeo Parade. Photo credit: Carl Yoshihara (7.6.19)

The 2020 Inaugural Makawao 4th of July Stampede rodeo and 55th Annual Makawao Parade are canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

Organizers say the cancellation is in compliance with public health rules, with both events planned to resume next year.  Under current rules, community events and large gatherings are still prohibited.  With the focus on the health and safety of participants and spectators, organizers said canceling at this time is necessary.

The Makawao Parade has been a tradition for more than five decades, that celebrates Independence Day, Maui’s veterans, the paniolo culture and the annual rodeos of Maui.

The Stampede was slated to be held at the Oskie Rice Arena on Olinda Road in Makawao during the 4th of July weekend from July 3 to 5, 2020.

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“This was not an easy decision, and we know the impacts are far-reaching,” said Maile J. Masada, Director of Facility Operations of the Oskie Rice Arena. “We had hoped that our county and state’s recovery from this pandemic would allow for community events by July and this would be something the people of Hawaiʻi, as well as visitors, could look forward to enjoying.”

Masada continued saying, “Unfortunately, this global crisis has forced us all to make adjustments in our lives and to work through this unparalleled situation as one united community. After many discussions with community leaders, government officials and Stampede organizers regarding the production of this family oriented event, we are certain this is the right action to take at this time. Nothing is more important than the safety of all of you, our community, our vendors, volunteers, families, participants and fans. It is important as a community member and leader, with generational roots in ranching and the sport of rodeo, that we put the safety and health of our community first.”

As for the July 4th Makawao Parade, Committee chair Duane Hamamura said, “We were waiting and hoping to see if the COVID-19 issue would be better, but with the focus on the health and safety of our participants and spectators, canceling at this time is necessary.  We will consider other options if the pandemic should fade and most certainly look forward to next year.”

Mayor Michael Victorino also provided a comment saying, “It’s sad to learn that this year’s Makawao Parade and the 2020 1st Annual Makawao 4th of July Stampede are canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, July 4th would be too early for large crowds to congregate. The health and safety of our community come first, and I appreciate that the parade and stampede organizing committees are making this difficult decision. I thank them for being proactive and safeguarding our community’s health.”

Kaonoulu Ranch will shift its focus to the 2020 Oskie Rice Memorial rodeo, which is currently scheduled for December 19 and 20, 2020 at the newly renovated Oskie Rice Arena on Olinda Road in Makawao.

“Although we are very sad that there will not be a rodeo this 4th of July in Makawao, this gives us an opportunity to honor the arena’s namesake, Harold ‘Oskie’ Rice and highlight his intent for that land with the renovated facility and new arena,” according to organizers.

Plans for the 2020 Oskie Rice Memorial Rodeo include a Bull Bash and evening light parade.

“We look forward to seeing you all at our ‘Merry Makawao Miracle’ in December and mark your calendars for the 2021 Makawao 4th of July Stampede at the Oskie Rice Arena in Makawao, Maui,” said organizers.

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