Rodeo and horse races at Parker Ranch on the Big Island of Hawai’i.

Learn more about this annual event and the different rodeo disciplines… If you happen to be on the Big Island during the 4th of July weekend, be sure to come up to the little town of Waimea for the annual rodeo and horse races. We can guarantee you a fun and exciting morning at the Parker Ranch Rodeo!

High above sun-drenched beaches and vast black lava fields, between the mountain shoulders of Kohala and Mauna Kea lies a green, rolling country where the cold misty rains blow on swirling winds. Here, where water is plentiful and forests grow tall in the hills, is the heart of Parker Ranch.

Annual Rodeo at Parker Ranch in Waimea HI

Annual July 4th Rodeo and Horse Races at the Parker Ranch Rodeo Arena in Waimea

Event Starts @ 9 AM Until Noon

Big Island paniolos (cowboys) from local ranches join together to celebrate the nation’s independence and traditional rodeo events. The rodeo includes skills and pride events, like Po’o Wai U, Ranch Mugging, Jr. – Sr. Ribbon Mugging and Team Roping. Horse races will include the fourth-mile, eighth-mile, and relay races.

Parker Ranch Rodeo Disciplines:

Poo Wai U – This event originated in Hawai’i. A single rider on horseback ropes the steer by the horns and maneuvers it to a forked stand (amana). The rider dismounts and ties a non-choke knot on the steers neck to the amana. The rider with the fastest time wins.

Team Roping – This event involves two ropers on horseback. The header ropes the steer around the neck and turns to the left. The heeler (second roper) attempts to rope both hind feet at once. If only one foot is roped, the team is given a five second penalty. When both head and heal ropes are tight, time is called. The fastest time wins.

Ranch Mugging – This event is one of strength and skill. A three-person team must catch a steer with a rope, tie 3 legs, remove the neck rope once the steer is tied, and then the team must run hand in hand with neck rope to the barrel. The fastest team wins.

Jr. – Sr. Ribbon Mugging – This two person event is like mugging. The Jr. partner is 15 years old or younger. Either Jr. or Sr. partner is able to rope. The roper is on horseback and the mugger is on the ground. When the roper catches the calf, the mugger holds on until the roper can remove the ribbon from the calf’s tail and then the neck rope. Together, the two partners must run to the barrel with the rope and ribbon in hand.

Calf Dressing – The three person teams are challenged to dress their roped calves running from the chute. The first team to dress the calf, remove the rope and run together to the barrel carrying the rope wins. Entry fees of $100 for each team are turned over to the winners and donated to their selected charitable organization.

Parker Ranch Rodeo In Waimea HI

Nick is waiting for the Rodeo to start, it was a beautiful morning in Waimea.

Parker Ranch Rodeo

Parker Ranch Rodeo & Horse Races

Beyond the rodeo arena and the action-packed events, the rodeo also provides attendees with the opportunity to enjoy other activities.

These activities span from local food trucks to keiki (children) activities, including pony rides and a petting zoo. 2016 vendors included Village Burger Waimea, Hina Rae’s Cafe, Aunty Peaches Onolicious Poi Balls, Hula Mamas Funnel Cakes And Fried Oreos, Alohi Akamai Petting Zoo, several local schools and businesses like Jeans And Things and Orchid Isle Auto.

Be sure to come early to the Parker Ranch rodeo grounds if you want a seat in the grandstand.

Tickets for the July 4th Rodeo & Horse Races are sold ahead of time or at the gate. For more information, call 808-885-5669 or visit

 A fun Hawaii rodeo event for the whole family!

This was Nick’s first rodeo, ever! We had a lot of fun cheering on the local cowboys and cowgirls. Did we get you interested? Click the button below to find the best rodeo events in Hawai’i.

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Have you been to a Hawai’ian style rodeo before? Leave us a comment below. 

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