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Dita Holifield

Photo courtesy Dita Holifield

Photo courtesy Dita Holifield

Dita Holifield’s electrifying country crooning has captivated local audiences for years, both on stage and over radio airwaves.

Currently director of sales for all of SALEM Communications’ seven Hawaii stations, she no longer hosts Country 97.5’s morning show. “It’s hard to take the entertainer out of me,” she says. “I miss it.”

But Holifield, who appeared on MidWeek‘s March 3, 2002, cover, hasn’t completely gone behind the curtains. For the past two-and-a-half years she has been performing with her latest band, Dita Holifield’s Hillbilly House. The band has opened for country legends such as Alan Jackson and Toby Keith, and most recently opened for Florida Georgia Line’s sold-out performance at Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

“It’s been a good year,” she says.

Aside from her musical career, the Texas transplant, who has called Oahu’s Windward side home for the past 24 years, also devotes her time to the community. Inspired by other local female performers who have done the same, Holifield sees it as her way to “thank the local community for what they did for my career in Hawaii as a country entertainer.”

Lately, these efforts have gone toward reviving Waimanalo’s rodeo after a 10-year hiatus. Holifield has committed to five years with the event and hopes to continue to build its presence in the community.

Dubbed Dita Holifield’s All American Rodeo, the event kicks off Friday (June 20) at with a 7 p.m. show and continues Saturday (June 21) with shows at 1 and 7 p.m. at New Town & Country Stables. A portion of proceeds will go to Kamaaina Kids, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii, Bikers Against Child Abuse and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The show will feature more than 100 animals and a full list of 155 competitors facing off in competitions such as bull riding, team roping and bareback bronc riding.

“It’s going to be like going to the X Games, only with animals,” she says. “The show is going to be amazing.”

Aloun Farms will sponsor a watermelonand corn-on-the-cob-eating contest for keiki. Also on site for families to enjoy will be a petting zoo, pony rides, dunk tank, climbing wall, mechanical bull, food, live music and more.

Local artists Patrick Ching and Jeff William will paint 4-foot ceramic cowboy boots. Proceeds from the sale of both boots will benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“Dust off your cowboy boots, your Wranglers, your cowboy shirts and hats, and giddy on up to Waimanalo,” Holifield says with a laugh.

Presale tickets are available at rodeo.kamaainakids.com, hawaiisalem.com, Dixie Grill and Whiskey Dix Saloon in Aiea and Nashville Waikiki. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but are subject to availability.