Stock Show Insider: A visit from the islands

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo president and general manager Brad Barnes watches a delegation from Hawaii perform on Thursday afternoon in the Stock Show’s main offices.

The renowned Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo has a longtime reputation for successfully roping in visitors from across the United States and from around the world.

On Thursday afternoon, a delegation from Hawaii entertained Stock Show officials in the FWSSR’s main offices.

The group, called the Hawaii Pa’u Riders, will attend the Stock Show’s opening weekend. A group of 16 will ride in the Stock Show’s traditional parade on Saturday (which is scheduled for 11 a.m. in downtown Fort Worth).

Fort Worth Stock Show general manager Brad Barnes and his office staff enthusiastically listened to the group as they sang Hawaiian songs with western themes and performed Hawaiian dances.

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Barnes said it’s common for the Stock Show to receive guests from far-away places.

“It speaks to the nature of our reach and the prestige of our event and the fact that we do have international guests from all over the world,” Brad Barnes said. “This group happens to be from Hawaii, but it’s not unusual for us to have folks from all over the world.”

Sheldon Kaopuiki, a member of the Hawaiian group, said the Stock Show is a high profile event and group members (from Oahu) are grateful to be part of it.

“It’s pretty interesting,” Kaopuiki said of the Stock Show. “It’s very fun. We hear a lot of stories about it. We feel like it’s a big honor to be part of the parade and the rodeo. It’s an influence that we’ve gotten from (mainland) American people that we’ve brought back home.”

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Fort Worth Stock Show publicity director Matt Brockman said it’s very natural for Hawaiians to make themselves at home at the Fort Worth Stock Show because both Hawaii and Texas have standout ranching activity.

“They’re going to find kindred spirits here,” Brockman said. “By the smiles on their faces, it’s apparent they’re excited to be here.”

The 2017 Fort Worth Stock Show begins its 23-day run Friday. The 121st edition concludes Feb. 4.