Punahou Carnival 2011

31 01 2011

This Friday and Saturday, Feb. 4 and 5. All the fun is bounded by Punahou Street and Wilder Avenue in Honolulu, from 11 a.m to 11 p.m., and I’ll be there. If you’re visiting, this is a great travel tip!

The big tent and the thrill rides are up, and they’re getting ready for the Punahou Carnival again. I’m here to plug my alma mater, with notes on my contribution and my favorites. It’s a humongous fundraiser put on by the junior class to raise scholarships. First-timers wonder how they do it. I’ll tell you how.

The school ropes in all the parents of the junior class and alumni to donate their time, labor, talent, and supply goods so that everything spent at the Carnival is profit for students.

The Carnival is such a bonding experience, you remember it for life and return every year to support it. There’s fun for all ages.

Banyan in the Park, an original oil on canvas by yours truly, for purchase at the Punahou Carnival Art Gallery. 16″ x 20″.

My contribution

For the past several years I’ve placed my paintings in the Art Gallery—50% of sales goes to the school, and put my time in at the Hawaiian Plate “booth.” I also help serve up the meal (5 to 8 p.m. Saturday).

Last year my graduating class was the second oldest still working the Carnival. We report to Dole Cafeteria and don aprons and hats to plate the meal of Hawaiian food. For anyone not of school age who isn’t interested in the midway carnival rides, it’s a nice place to relax because there is air-conditioning, there is continuous live music, and there are real bathrooms.

We used to prep and cook the food, and in years before that we worked the famous malasadas booth with Mr. Bowers until we were banned for making non-regulation sizes and shapes ;-). And frankly, I don’t remember what we did prior.

My favorites

Usually I carpool with DH and his daughter, also an alumna. We each arm ourselves with an empty shopping bag and an umbrella. We go to a secret parking place if the lots on campus are full. Tip: take the bus if you can or prepare to park and walk from neighboring streets.

These are some of our favorites:

  • Silent auction—Items vary from year to year, and sometimes we’re lucky. We scope this out first.
  • Art gallery—Always like to see what other island artists are doing; it just makes me want to paint more, though. A great collection.
  • Plant booth—I’ve donated bromeliads and small avocado trees. For my garden I’ve bought herbs, red and pink ginger, native Hawaiian species, water plants, and turf grass. They will hold your purchase for you to retrieve later, if you wish.
  • Malasadas—Of course, with a hot cup of coffee at night.
  • Jams and jellies—E.g., red pepper jelly and mango chutney. I think it sells out in the first hour on Friday 😦
  • Books—At the end you can fill up a bag and get it all for something really cheap.
  • White elephant—Quick survey. You never know what you might find.
  • Food—Whatever your heart’s desire, a separate booth for each. Gyros, corn on the cob, fruit smoothies, fried noodles, pizza, teriburgers, veggie stuff, Hawaiian food, chicken, Portuguese bean soup, ice cream, saimin and meat sticks … oh la la.
  • Produce—A crew goes to the Big Island to pick. I do my next week’s fruit and veggie shopping here.
  • Games—The kiddie games are a world apart. It’s fun to watch the little ones. I think it’s time to take Miss Marvelous there. There are games for older students and teens too. My Facebook friend Yo and her husband are parent chairs of the prizes this year.
  • Will call—You can check your loot here until time to go home.

So c’mon to the Punahou Carnival, alumni or not. Spend your money. It’s for a good cause!

Copyright 2011 Rebekah Luke
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