Carnival’s Secret Sauce to Success: Marcia Wright

– By Lee Ann Ichimura P’17, ’20, ’23, PFA Coordinator 

It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to a true cornerstone of our Punahou Carnival community – our amazing Food Service Director, Marcia Barrett ’74 Wright. After an incredible 35-year journey, she leaves a legacy of excellence, leadership, and community spirit that will forever be etched in the heart of our Carnival ‘ohana.

Marcia has been the driving force behind the success of our Carnival food booths, turning them into an annual celebration and tradition that students, families, alumni, and our entire state look forward to each year. Her passion for food and dedication to providing the best for our community have been evident in every delicious bite served at the Carnival.

Under her guidance, each year, our junior student leaders and parent booth chairs have not only perfected the traditional mouthwatering carnival delights but have also learned valuable life skills and developed a sense of camaraderie that extends far beyond the Carnival grounds.

For 35 years, Marcia has not only led the volunteers but has also been a mentor, a source of inspiration, and a friend to those of us who worked alongside her. Ask any Carnival Coordinator; each has stories to share of how Marcia saved Carnival. Whether it was her quick thinking as she modified a smoothie recipe to maintain operations and vital sales for the smoothie booth or serving Portuguese Bean Soup to comfort volunteers on a Carnival morning delayed to open due to a lightning storm, Marcia always had our backs.

Marcia has also been the heart and soul of our food service department, and her impact reaches beyond the delicious meals and treats served at our events. She has instilled a sense of pride and dedication in her staff, teaching them the importance of attention to detail, teamwork, and the joy of bringing joy to others through food.

As we celebrate Marcia Wright’s well-deserved retirement, let us take a moment to express our deepest gratitude for her tireless efforts, unwavering commitment, and the countless memories she has created for our Punahou community. Her legacy will continue to inspire future generations of volunteers, and the carnival food booths will forever bear the mark of her exceptional leadership.

Thank you, Marcia Wright, for 35 years of delicious moments, heartfelt connections, and a legacy that will forever be cherished. May your retirement be as sweet and fulfilling as the malasadas you’ve shared with us throughout the years.

You’re invited to “Mahalo, Marcia!” Please capture Marcia’s last “working” Carnival in pictures and share any images you have of Marcia with yourself or with her colleagues, volunteers, and friends. Please share pictures of Marcia to

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