On Your Mark … Get Set … GO! Punahou Carnival 2023

The School is gearing up for an in-person Carnival experience that harkens back to pre-pandemic times: Everyone – the entire buff ’n blue ‘ohana and the public at large – will be welcomed back for the first time since 2020. In addition, the event will once again be expanded to two full days of food, fun and excitement. This marks the 91st anniversary for the Punahou Carnival, which is being held Feb. 3 and 4.

Preparations for Carnival 2023 have been underway for months. The White Elephant pit crew held numerous donation drives, which yielded several thousand pounds of goods. The White Elephant division is made up of five sections: clothing, housewares, toys, books and treasures.

“During the past two years the Punahou community has supported the Junior Class as they reimagined Carnival. Whether it was driving through campus to pick up Portuguese bean soup or purchasing beautiful art from our online Art Gallery, the community was amazing,” says Taryn Yano ’99 Kabei, Carnival coordinator. “But I’m extremely happy that the Class of 2024 will be able to welcome the community back to campus and that parents, students and alumni will be able to work side by side as we have in years past to raise money for financial aid.”

For their part, the Jams and Jellies crew picked fruit, chipped mangoes, cooked and jarred the famous Carnival mango chutney and liliko‘i butter.

The theme this year is Pun Prix ’23: Pedal to the Metal. Carnival Student Co-Chairs Koko Leong ’24 and Lexi Namba ’24, Parent Chair Lori Fujimoto and PFA volunteers have been diligently planning this massive undertaking for months. Over the summer, the Jams and Jellies crew picked fruit, chipped mangoes, cooked and jarred the famous Carnival mango chutney and liliko‘i butter. 

Meanwhile, the White Elephant pit crew held numerous donations drives and collected and sorted several thousand pounds of goods given to the Punahou community. 

Everyone comes together for one common goal: To help fund an amazing education and give students, who could not otherwise afford it, a chance to embrace the Punahou experience. The community is excited to be able to help – and to enjoy Carnival traditions. 

“I can’t wait to welcome everyone back to campus to enjoy the delicious Carnival food our volunteers work so hard to make,” Kabei says. “I enjoyed heating up the frozen malasada at home, but there is nothing better than eating a warm and sugary malasada while walking through Carnival.”

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