The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping the public away from the Punahou Carnival for a second year.
Only current Punahou students and employees and their families were allowed to attend a scaled-back, one-day version of the event on campus today. The food booths, white elephant sale and keiki games were presented under the theme “Back in Time to ’99.”
The public is invited to support the carnival virtually by buying from its art gallery or bidding in the silent auction, which run through 9 p.m. today on its website, punahoucarnival.com. The carnival raises money to support students and families who use financial aid at the independent K-12 school.
Normally, the Punahou Carnival is a two-day affair with E.K. Fernandez rides and midway and such food booth favorites as malasadas and Portuguese bean soup. The event draws thousands of people to the sprawling school property in lower Manoa.
Due to the pandemic, nearly all of the carnival went virtual in 2021, except for drive-thru food pickups.
With the advent of coronavirus vaccines, school officials decided an in-person event limited to the immediate school community was appropriate for this 90th year of the carnival, said Robert Gelber, Punahou director of communications. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Punahou Carnival next year” in 2023, he said.
The virtual art gallery features more than 3,000 works of art created by nearly 300 Hawaii artists, including jewelry, paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and glass. Proceeds are shared evenly between the contributing artist and the carnival’s fundraising efforts for financial aid.
The silent auction offers feature more than 150 donated items, including hotel stays, restaurant gift certificates, artwork, jewelry and Punahou’s renowned mango chutney and lilikoi butter.
The student “Variety Show” can be viewed online from today through Wednesday for a $20 ticket. For all purchases and information, go to punahoucarnival.com.