Carnival is a campus-wide effort, offering leadership opportunities and bonding experiences for the entire Punahou community, in support of this iconic financial aid fundraising event.
Punahou went “Back in Time to ’99” Friday, as the School hosted a one-day, ’90s-themed Carnival, with malasadas, games, entertainment and a few new attractions.
With COVID-19 still a concern, this year’s Carnival had to be modified without rides and the general public, and many safety protocols in place. Only current students and their families, along with faculty and staff, were in attendance. But just having an in-person Carnival for the first time in two years was a huge feat for the organizing Junior Class.
The state's largest art show, 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 and other original fine art pieces. Proceeds from each piece of art are shared evenly between the contributing artist and the Carnival fundraising effort.
Food, Rides and Games
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.
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.
Carnival-goers love to compete for these fantastic big- and small-ticket items. Past auction items have included hotel stays, professional sports tickets and signed memorabilia, art, clothing, furniture, restaurant and spa certificates, jewelry and more (even mango chutney for those who missed it).
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.
White Elephant and Other Goods
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.