Hawaii Carnival: Jams, Malasadas, Rides and White Elephant

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Hawaii Carnival: Jams, Malasadas, Rides and White Elephant

An Entire Population Descends on the Corner of Punahou and H-1 in Honolulu

I can’t say I know very much about the famous Punahou Carnival (put on by the junior class of this famous private school) except that I’ve heard it mentioned as THE event of the year for island locals. It’s taken me three years to get there. It was the very popular Art Sale & Exhibit that got me there during the last few hours of operation this past weekend. And the crowds were definitely there including folks on their Hawaii Vacations!!.

Rides, the local protector, & crowd control.

I started at the Art Show, which takes works (even amateur) from all over the state. It’s a wonderful place to pick up exceptional local art, mostly with Hawaiian theme, priced for everyone, without the up sell of a commercial gallery. Then I went to the Flowers/Plants, which by this time had gone to half price (score), as did all the other merchandise in the ever popular white elephant and book booths. The malasada booths at either end of the grounds were still going h3 – seeing as this is another carnival perpetual favorite treat. It’s the Hawaiian version of a fried, round donut. And there were the standard game booths for stuffed animals.

But it’s the rides that seem to draw the crowds and help make this make such a successful event. That’s no surprise, since carnivals are driven by the younger set. What makes this different, here in Hawaii, is that there are no amusement parks, no giant ride complexes that one can travel to for a kid’s weekend of fun. I think I’ve seen maybe one other carnival set up in Honolulu since I’ve been here. So for rides, Punahou is just about it. The whole Island knows it. The kids are everywhere! And the lines are LLLOOONNNGGG. Ending the evening at the cafeteria, the crowd was entertained by local performers, many whom are well known beyond the state, and many were grads of this school, coming back to do their part for raising money for scholarships. I was thrilled to see one of my favorite artists, Henry Kapono, was there to perform. And because it was in the cafeteria, I wasn’t surprised to sese that everyone around me was eating the traditional Hawaii dinner plate with lau lau, lomi lomi and poi, the perpetual favorite of locals.

Hand made lei, local flora, & Hawaiian fare.

I knew that this was always a successful enterprise for the school, but was surprised at how much so. 2010 reports show a net profit of $450,000 for the weekend (used for scholarships). Take that number and the fact that each script is 25¢, (most items/activities took 6 or so) – well you can imagine how many people and transactions it took to get to that number. So it is, after all, quite an event, a 75 years old tradition

Punahou flying people!


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