The deep rumbling of Pharaoh's Fury, the squeals of excited youngsters, the sizzling of teri burgers and grilled chicken – those were just some of the sights and scenes this past Feb. 4 and 5.
The Carnival Before Time: A Prehistoric Paradise descended onto Punahou's campus amid a picture-perfect weekend, with Carnivalgoers of all ages reveling in games, rides and 'ono food.
The most anticipated two-day, family-fun event of the year would not have been possible without the 4,000 students, parents, alumni, faculty and staff, who helped continue Carnival's perennial, time-honored tradition.
Carnival 2011 Slideshow
Among the more than 900 alumni dishing out chow were the Classes of 1950 and 1971, who manned the Taco Salad and Malasada 'Ewa booths, respectively. Both Classes put down their Carnival aprons for the final time after this year's event. Together, they have dedicated more than 25 years to Carnival.
"It's what [Carnival] does for a community that makes it so special," said President Jim Scott '70, whose own Class has been volunteering at the Malasada Waikiki booth for 30 years.
This year, volunteers served thousands of people on campus. According to Director of Food Services Marcia Barrett '74 Wright, Carnivalgoers ate a record-breaking number of malasadas – nearly 172,000, topping last year's record by 20,000! The crowd also consumed approximately: 34,000 hamburgers; 6,600 chicken plates; 4,680 Hawaiian plates; 10,200 gyros; 5,000 taco salads; 12,500 ears of corn, and 2,100 gallons of Portuguese bean soup.
Revenue was on target, with proceeds from Carnival benefiting Punahou's financial aid program, which provides nearly 500 students with need-based tuition assistance.
Cirque-tacular! Variety Show 2011 Against the backdrop of Carnival, seniors strut their stuff before audiences during attention-grabbing performances of Variety Show. This year was no different, with 338 members of the senior class playing a role in the circus-themed extravaganza, as they lit up the stage with their vivid multicolored costumes, remarkable acrobatics, and singing and dancing numbers.
Variety Show 2011 Slideshow
Seniors put their 13 hours of practice to work, staging six performances of the 55-minute production during Carnival, which included a showstopping scene – Circus of the Imagination – complete with ring tossing, juggling, and jaw-dropping gymnastics.
The concept made the show easier in some respects, noted Punahou's Variety Show Director and Associate Director of College Counseling Christopher Obenchain. "With such a dynamic theme like circus, anything goes. So we took advantage of that," he said.
As President Jim Scott '70 has often said, Variety Show is an important event in the lives of Punahou seniors, as it marks a notable time prior to graduation that they work together. "The interdependent community that they built over the last few weeks [leading up to Carnival] is really special."