Inaugural Lineman’s Rodeo Bringing Upgrades to Maka’eo Park
The County of Hawai’i announces Maka’eo Beach Park will host the first Hawai’i Lineman’s Rodeo, which is a free event to be held Saturday, February 23, at the Kailua-Kona facility.
A friendly competition among more than 40 mainland and local teams of electric utility professionals and contractors, the rodeo highlights safety, skill and education in overhead electric work. The Hawaiian Electric Companies, which includes Hawai‘i Electric Light Co., and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 are sponsoring the drug- and alcohol-free Hawai‘i Lineman’s Rodeo.
The event will support Toys For Tots and the Hawai‘i Food Basket, with a donated canned item, new toy or small donation per child earning unlimited rides in the event’s Kids Zone. Vendor applications to participate in the free community fair are still being accepted at www.hawaiilinemanrodeo.com.
HELCO will hire contractors to install fencing and prepare a surface of sand and wood chips to create a competition arena located away from park amenities. Next, they will erect 75 utility poles for the estimated 125 competitors to use.
“Working with the County of Hawai‘i Parks Department, HELCO plans to leave the park in better shape than we found it, with improvements to be enjoyed by future park users,” company President Jay Ignacio said.
Once the competition has ended, the poles will be donated to the Department of Parks and Recreation for use in enhancing Maka‘eo Beach Park.
“This is a win-win-win situation,” Deputy Parks Director Bob Fitzgerald said. “We’re bringing in a whole bunch of visitors to Hawai‘i Island, providing free public entertainment and recreation, and improving Maka‘eo at little cost to the taxpayers.”
Parks officials consulted with cultural descendants of the area, canoe clubs that use Maka‘eo and other community stakeholders before approving the competition and related park improvements. Holes drilled for the poles will not impact any cultural resources, while the park will remain open during the February 23 event.