Rodeo launches Koloa Plantation Days

POIPU — Sherry Brandon of Colorado was helping Stephanie Barnum dispense rodeo wear Friday under the shade of a large tent while roping competitors peppered the arena at the CJM Country Stables.

“My husband Dale is participating in the open, No. 4, and century roping events. I’m just being useful while waiting,” said Brandon.

Roping events and the Bull Bash highlighted the Friday rodeo offerings, which marked the start of Koloa Plantation Days, a 10-day offering of different types of family-oriented activities celebrating the plantation era and Koloa, where the first sugar plantation was built.

“We’re not going out until later,” said Lexie Snyder, who along with a bunch of friends, including Mango the bird, were chauffeuring patrons using a golf cart.

Snyder is partnering with London Andrade, Mango’s keeper, in the rescue race, which is among the events scheduled for today’s rodeo.

Following the grand entry, other events include wahine barrel racing, short go, keiki barrel racing, dally team roping, wahine steer undecorating, double mugging, wahine breakaway roping, No. 4 roping, century team roping, the iron horse race, bull riding and keiki dally team.

Pookela Sausage Co. was among the food truck offerings helping whet rodeo patrons’ appetites.

“This is our first event this year,” said Kawaihau Torio, who along with Jeremy Dexter-Smith own and operate Pookela. “We were part of the Kauai Coffee Business Plan competition and, normally, we are at the Waipa market and the Saturday market in Hanalei. This is the first time we’ve come this far.”

The rodeo continues through Sunday, but the Koloa Plantation Days festivities continue through Aug. 1.

Sunday’s rodeo offerings include the Po‘i Wai U, a unique Hawaiian paniolo event, wahine barrels, junior barrel racing, double mugging, more wahine breakaway, sheep riding, rescue race, iron horse, junior bull riding, and more.

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