HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For nearly 90 years, the Punahou Carnival has been among Hawaii’s most celebrated events where thousands enjoy family fun and bags full of delicious malasadas.
But in the time of COVID-19, long lines and big public gatherings are on hold. So student planners and staff organizers adapted the best way they could: By moving the event online.
“Obviously, we had some setbacks, some challenges and just seeing the kids push through, remain focused and really continue to imagine their own carnival,” said Punahou Carnival coordinator Taryn Kabei.
“In a way, we flipped it, versus it being a negative experience, it became a positive. What are new things we can do? What are new traditions we can start?”
Punahou’s junior class takes the reins in planning the event and this year, decided to make it a virtual experience.
With help from volunteers, they created an entire website that features a digital store, silent auction, and talent show.
The theme—'A Carnival Out of This World.”
“This year has been also out of this world and such an extraordinary experience,” said Maya Anderson, a Punahou junior and member of the planning committee. “I think it’s pretty fitting that the carnival theme matches the environment that’s going on right now.”
The carnival is a fundraiser for the school’s financial aid program and the goal is to raise $220,000 by the end of next week.
Much of the donations driven by their auction and art gallery, which features a thousand different works from artists across the state.
“Especially now with the pandemic and the challenges of the overall economy on families, it’s more so important for us to raise those funds for financial aid,” Kabei said. “We have about 950 students that receive financial aid to attend Punahou School.”
The auction and gallery go live on February 1 and orders can be placed until Saturday the 6th.
For more information on the festivities, head to punahoucarnival.com.