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Celebrate Maui’s ranching lifestyle at the Upcountry Fair

By Staff | Jun 9, 2011

The ‘Ohana Ranch Rodeo will take place in the rodeo arena from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Upcountry ranching families come out to entertain the crowd and have a good time.

MAKAWAO — A 31-year tradition, the Upcountry Fair will be held Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, at the Oskie Rice Field & Arena on Olinda Road.

This year’s theme is “Nana ‘Ike Kumu” (Look to the Source), which celebrates the Upcountry ranching and farming lifestyle unique to Maui while creating opportunities for island youth to develop an interest in agriculture, animal husbandry and ranching.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, the Upcountry Fair will offer a wide array of activities, displays and events for all ages.

A highlight of the fair is the Maui 4-H Livestock Association’s annual animal show and sale. Maui youth will present farm animals they have raised for the year and offer them for sale at an auction.

Lyman Kuala’au, Upcountry Fair co-chair, stated, “The Upcountry Fair committee and myself are very proud of our 4-H youth in stepping forward and taking leadership this year, and forming the new 4-H Youth Board along with University of Hawaii’s University Cooperative Exchange, 4-H Leader Gary Heusel and Maui’s Harold Keyser, overseers of the 4-H ag projects.”

Uncle Richard Ho‘opi‘i and his ‘ohana will perform at the Upcountry Fair on Sunday.

“The 4-H kids are our future in ag and farming, and we look forward to the 4-H Youth Livestock Show and Auction this year,” she added.

Haleakala Ranch will present the Paniolo (Cowboy) Tent, featuring the Paniolo Hall of Fame that honors cowboy heroes from all over the islands dating from the late 1800s to the present. There will also be displays of historical photos and antique saddles from Haleakala and Piiholo Ranches, Kaonoulu Ranch, ‘Ulupalakua Ranch, Hana Ranch and Kahuku Ranch from Hawaii Island. Western gear vendors from Maui will sell their wares.

There will be a Pie Eating Contest on Saturday and Hot Dog Eating Contest on Sunday. Keiki will enjoy the Stick Pony Rodeo and sack races.

In the Whole Foods Market Agricultural Tent, fairgoers can shop for Maui County Farm Bureau farm-fresh produce and plants. Maui Cattle Company will host a professional chefs’ demonstration utilizing grass-fed beef on Saturday. Chef Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by Chef Tylun Pang of The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui at 11 a.m.

The Made-in-Hawaii Tent will features all kinds of crafts and packaged foods that are perfect for gift-giving.

Under the Keiki Boot Tent, there will be lots of games, contests and prizes. Thompson Ranch will return with horse rides.

Attendees can enjoy grazing on Maui-style food, featuring barbecued chicken, beef and pork plates, lumpia, chow fun, salads, Indian dishes and desserts.

Haleakala Ranch’s Entertainment Tent will feature George Kahumoku Jr., Benny Uyetake, The Shamrocks and Jah Residentz on Saturday.

On Sunday, the entertainment continues with Uncle Richard Ho’opi’i and his ‘ohana, Hawaiian Serenaders, Ukulele Pops Band, Country Band and Marty Dread.

Hula halau will also perform on stage each morning, and Kathy “Tita” Collins will serve as emcee on Saturday.

“The Upcountry Ag & Farm Fair is for everyone, so join us for one day or two and make sure you bring the whole family,” said Kuala’au.

For more information, call Kuala’au at 870-9031, e-mail upcountryfair@gmail.com or visit www.upcountryfairmaui.com.