On Saturday, Dec. 31, 1881, a New Year’s Eve holiday athletic meet arranged by Kilauea Sugar Plantation manager Robert A. Macfie Jr. was held on a field of short grass makai of the plantation sugar mill at Kilauea, Kauai.
Manager Macfie provided free refreshments to all attending, and the entire Kilauea community comprised of Hawaiians, Chinese, Portuguese, Germans, Norwegians, Gilbert Islanders and Anglo Saxons of various branches joined in the accompanying festivities, as did visitors from Honolulu, Kealia and surrounding districts.
A Hawaiian named Kilauea won the sack of sugar race by easily carrying a 125-pound sugar sack the distance, and he, along with Mamaloa, also triumphed in the three-legged race.
Keo, another Hawaiian of outstanding athletic ability, was victorious in the high jump at 4 feet 6 inches, the hurdle race, and the quarter mile foot race in which G. Barker finished second.
Wiry and light, Barker took first prize in the 100-yard dash.
The putting the stone competition, an event of Scottish origin similar to the shot put, was carried off by Max Schlemmer; Naea, second.
An unnamed Gilbert Islander practically walked up a greased pole hand and foot to grab the $6 prize atop the pole and win the event, while a young countrymen of his took first place in the school boy’s race.
Lono came in first in the wheelbarrow race; J. Johnston was second.
Twelve haoles contested 12 Hawaiians in the tug of war, in which the haoles held the line in two out of three very tough struggles.
Oddly enough, there was also a quarter-mile foot race for Chinese only with Chan Lum Sin Qui Fat being the winner.
Each contestant received a prize.
Although a well-known Hawaiian named Manoa did not participate in the competitions, he did present an amazing display of horsemanship.
After placing a dollar coin on the ground, he mounted his horse and rode off 100 yards distant, turned about, and raced back to succeed in picking up the coin at full gallop.