Mililani Times | Alumni Carlos Prado and Timothy Won
In 2015, the MHS Carnival returned to the community for the first time in 20 years. Since then, it has become an annual event with this year’s carnival marking its fourth consecutive run. The carnival will run from Feb. 15 to 17 and will feature a variety of rides, games and foods. However, this year will also be introducing several new highlights, including a new layout for the carnival, a Character Counts Fair and a petting zoo.
“This year we are having a different floor plan, so the layout will be different. Usually we utilize the area between the admin building and the cafeteria, but this time it’s all going to be surrounded by the admin building. We also will have a petting zoo, which I think will be fun,” said educational assistant and carnival chairperson Ivy Ogawa.
Preparations for the carnival began in August of last year. Coordinator Rabecca Makekau has been working with the carnival committee in order to make decisions and preparations for this year’s event. “The goal for this year’s carnival is to get everybody involved, everybody here, and everybody to have a good time,” said Makekau. Ogawa added, “We definitely want to increase the interest and excitement in the carnival. Definitely the first year was really busy, I mean we had a better turn out than we even expected and we feel like we need to just kind of ramp it up a little to get people excited again. So that would explain why we’re doing something new like the petting zoo.”
At this year’s upcoming carnival, 20,000 people are expected to attend. Committee members are hoping that there will be more people coming with the addition of smaller, newer attractions to the carnival such as the Character Counts fair. All grade levels will participate by making posters, holding contests and having performances in order to promote character skills that Mililani schools emphasize. “We are also hosting a Character Count(s) Fair during the carnival. So we’re hoping that brings a few more people over since that’ll be down in the gym,” said Ogawa.
Most of the rides from previous years, such as the Magic Maze, Pharaoh’s Fury and Super Sizzler are expected to return. This year will be the first time that the carnival will be offering discounts on rides; the discounts will be available from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. “We will have things like the slide, the kiddie rides, the merry-go-round. Of course, you know, we hope to see stuff like the Zipper and what not. Unfortunately, can’t say for sure what we will have. It all depended on, you know, the machines working, sometimes they go down a little bit before, but you know, the same ones as we usually have,” said Ogawa.
Food will be provided by different vendors as well as MHS clubs and sports teams. So far, there are 15 confirmed booths signed up. “Mark’s Specialty is a hot one. He has lots of local grinds. And we have a shave ice vending machine, we have soup bowls, lots of different varieties; musubis, snacks,” said Makekau. Ogawa added, “Okay, so we have mostly our school groups are filling up our food booths. For example, football and baseball, who have participated every year. We’ve got our band; they’re gonna be doing their drinks and burgers like they usually do. Some of the CTE groups are gonna participate.”
This year, the carnival is expected to make about $88,000 in script sales and anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 on the rides. Majority of the money that is made will go back to the school. “We use money for campus improvement. It’s flexible money for us,” said Ogawa.
The carnival will run from 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 and 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17. There will be a talent show held on B building stage on Friday, a Character Counts fair at the gym with a performance starting at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and a petting zoo on C/B lawn on Saturday and Sunday.