Stick Horses Spotted in Makawao

Makawao History Museum Stick Horse Exhibit

Makawao has its own special breed of horse – the stick horse!  Exactly twenty years ago, Theresa and Charlene Thompson came up with an idea to entertain the crowds who were waiting for the Fourth of July Rodeo parade as it trailed up Baldwin Avenue approaching Makawao.  Their first horses as children growing up on their family’s Thompson Ranch were stick horses, so stick horses came to mind.   In the first years, adults dressed in funny costumes, such as a POG man or a whale, galloped around on stick horses and did silly things.  Over the years the show evolved and children became riders.  Local woodworkers were recruited to supply the horses and some were more than toys – artisans such as John Wittenburg and Cole Warren created works of art.  One year a donkey joined the crowd!  For several years, the fun started with Eddie Wilson playing his bugle, with the classic Call to Post, the music played when real horses race.   In Makawao’s stick horse race everybody was considered a winner and each child received a prize such as a horse show ribbon or a bandana.