Punahou School invites people of all ages to go on “The Greatest Show on Earth” for two days of family fun. Fresh malasadas, mango chutney, kiddie games and E.K. Fernandez rides, White Elephant treasures and live musical entertainment are among the many treats that draw fans each year to the Punahou Carnival. Proceeds support the School’s financial aid program.
Show on Earth
Friday and Saturday,
Feb. 1 and 2,
11 a.m. – 11 p.m. each day
Hosted by the Class of 2020
Check Punahou’s Twitter feed for Carnival updates
A popular attraction, the Carnival Art Gallery features more than 1,000 works of art created by over 300 Hawai'i artists, including paintings, photographs, wood bowls, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, handbags and original fine art pieces. Proceeds from each piece of art are shared evenly between the contributing artist and the Carnival fundraising effort.
With around 60 booths and a variety of E. K. Fernandez rides, Carnival has something for everyone. Rides and games are a big hit at Carnival. For the big kids (and kids at heart), there are a dozen ways to spin, flip, hang, drop and otherwise get the heart pumping. A variety of smaller scale rides are equally fun for the little ones. And for those who like a challenge, skill games for all ages give everyone a chance to win a great Carnival memento.
Carnival foods are always in high demand, including teri burgers, chicken plate, gyros, taco salad, corn on the cob, Portuguese bean soup and much more. And no one can resist those signature Carnival malasadas!
A relaxing getaway from the main Carnival area, Hawaiian Plate features great Hawaiian food (like lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, haupia and poi) and a place to sit and enjoy a variety of live music acts. Find Hawaiian Plate at Dole Hall, mauka of Rice Field parking and the main carnival grounds. A great variety of bands (student, enthusiast and professional) play and rotate on an hourly schedule, with first shows at noon and final shows at 10 p.m., each day of Carnival.
Friday, February 2
Noon – 1 p.m. Punahou Jazz Band
1 – 2 p.m. Imu Jam
2 – 3 p.m. The Busboyz
3 – 4 p.m. Danny Carvalho
4 – 5 p.m. Barefoot Boys
5 – 6 p.m. Ke ‘Olu
6 – 7 p.m. George Kuo, Aaron Mahi and Keith Cockett
7 – 8 p.m. I Ku Mau Mau
8 – 9 p.m. ManoaDNA
9 – 10 p.m. AJ Keolanui
Saturday, February 3
Noon – 1 p.m. Punahou Jazz Band
1 – 2 p.m. Alumni Glee Club
2 – 3 p.m. The Band Tantalus
3 – 4 p.m. Art Kalahiki
4 – 5 p.m. The Ponos
5 – 6 p.m. Yim Brothers
6 – 7 p.m. Micah G
7 – 8 p.m. Duncan Kamakana Osorio, Jon Osorio and Jamaica Osorio
8 – 9 p.m. Mango Season
9 – 10 p.m. Oahu College Band
A decades-old tradition, the Variety Show is the senior class contribution to Carnival. It is a student production that typically incorporates theater, music, dance and comedy in an original theme and script. Though held in spacious Dillingham Hall, tickets to the show usually sell out very quickly.
A main draw at Carnival, the White Elephant Tent can be found at the Diamond Head end of the Carnival grounds, across from the plant sale. It houses the White Elephant sale, as well as booths for the O-Men, Pa'ani and Punahou Alumni Association.
White Elephant Sale
This huge second-hand goods sale features clothing, toys, books, music and much more. Items are collected and sorted year-round by a dedicated group of volunteers, and the proceeds represent a significant portion of the Carnival's income, which supports the school's financial aid program. An entire section, with its own entrance, is dedicated to books - a great destination for readers, offering a wide array of choice and bargains.
The cream of the crop, this section of the sale features particularly special second-hand items, and generally draws an early crowd.
Punahou Alumni Association Booth
Filled with hats, shirts, foam fingers and other great clothing and accessories for the spirited alumnus/a, this booth supports the Punahou Alumni Association and its programs and events.
O-Men Fruits and Vegetables Booth
A fundraiser for the O-Men booster organization that supports Punahou boys athletic programs, this booth is a bounty of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Pa'ani Flower Booth
Selling beautiful and fragrant flower bouquets and lei, this booth is brought to you by Na Wahine Pa'ani 'O Punahou, and is a fundraiser for this booster organization that supports Punahou's girls athletics.
See the Carnival Map for locations of booths, attractions and services.
Scrip and Fun Passes
Most everything at Carnival requires payment in scrip, which can be purchased at multiple locations within the carnival grounds. Punahou food booths and games take Punahou Carnival scrip.
E.K. Fernandez Fun Passes can be purchased and filled (or refilled) with credits using cash or credit cards. All E.K. Fernandez attractions (rides, games and food) accept Fun Passes, but do not accept Punahou Carnival scrip, and Fun Passes can only be used at E.K. Fernandez attractions.
See the Carnival Price List for food and skill booths, as well as E.K. Fernandez rides.
Parking on campus is limited during Carnival and it is recommended that attendees utilize auxiliary parking lots available in the area.
- Catholic Charities
- Central Union Church
- Kapiolani Hospital
- Lutheran Church of Honolulu
- Maryknoll Grade School
- Maryknoll High School
- The Parish of St. Clement
- Shriners Children’s Hospital
1515 Wilder Ave.
Friday and Saturday, February 2 and 3
Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Cost is $18 per day (no in/out privileges).
Parking passes available: $30 1-day pass (with in/out privileges) and $55 2-day pass (with in/out privileges).
Passes on sale on starting Friday, February 2 in the church parking area.
History of Carnival
The tradition began in 1932, when, during the Depression, Academy students hosted an "Oahuan Campus Carnival" to raise money for the yearbook. Held on Rice Field, it took place early one Friday afternoon in April and lasted until late evening, with the usual Carnival fare and games. In the end, they raised $240 for the Oahuan. In 1936, the PTA and the junior class banded together and introduced the first Carnival rides.
Today, Carnival is a monumental effort taken on by the junior class and supported by hundreds upon hundreds of student, parent, faculty/staff and alumni volunteers. For the juniors, it is a valuable bonding experience and an opportunity for many to practice leadership and collaboration. For others, it's an annual opportunity to support financial aid and reconnect with old friends, or make new ones.