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4th of July Stampede, parade canceled

Oskie Rice Memorial rodeo still set for December 19, 20

The Maui News

The inaugural Makawao 4th of July Stampede and 55th Annual Makawao Parade have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, organizers announced Thursday.

Families and friends will have to wait until next year to serenade a chosen grand marshal, a queen and her court, youth programs and special honorees, as well as compete in or watch live rodeo action.

“We will consider other options if the pandemic should fade and most certainly look forward to next year, as the

Makawao Parade has been a tradition that celebrates Independence Day and our veterans, the paniolo culture of Makawao and Upcountry, and the annual rodeos of Maui,” Duane Hamamura, chairman of the Makawao Parade Committee, said in a news release. “This year’s parade would have signified new beginnings on Maui with the blending of a new rodeo with older ones, as well as new agriculture taking over sugar cane.”

The decision came down to the safety of the community, vendors, volunteers, families, participants and fans.

“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,” said Maile J. Masada, director of facility operations of 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 Hawaii, as well as visitors, could look forward to enjoying.”

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said he was sad to hear of the cancellations, but that the July 4th weekend would be too early for large crowds to congregate.

“The health and safety of our community comes first, and I appreciate that the parade and stampede organizing committees are making this difficult decision,” Victorino said. “I thank them for being proactive and safeguarding our community’s health.”

Both events will resume in 2021. In the meantime, the community has the Oskie Rice Memorial rodeo to look forward to, which is currently scheduled for Dec. 19 and 20.

According the news release, the committee is using this extra time to plan for proper safety protocols and guidelines as they schedule a Bull Bash and evening light parade for the December event, as well as a “joint venture with the Makawao Town Association to make Makawao the place to be for a memorable family holiday experience.”

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