Kampai! It’s Orion Beer & Eisa weekend

The 57th All Okinawa Eisa Festival is Saturday and Sunday at Koza Athletic Park, attracting dozens of the island’s favorite eisa dance groups to perform both days as part of a weekend filled with music, foods and entertainment as the annual Orion Beer Festival runs concurrently in the same park..

Orion Beer is Okinawa’s home-grown beverage, and this weekend’s Orion Beer Festival in Okinawa City’s Koza Athletic Park is a chance for the company to tout its product while offering top notch entertainment to the community.

A half-dozen name bands, including two of Okinawa’s best known, will perform during the two-day festival, which kicks off both Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. Apart from the kegs and kegs and kegs of Orion beer, there’ll be a bevy of food vendors pitching their products on the festival grounds, and fireworks cap the evening both nights shortly before 9 p.m.

The Eisa Festival admission is ¥2,000 for advance S Seats, while A seats are ¥1,200. At the gate Saturday and Sunday, the S Seat Tickets are ¥2,500, while A Seats remain ¥1,200. Watching the Eisa from standing areas is free!

Entry to the Orion Beer Fest is free, although the food and beverages go for whatever visitors want to purchase.

Doors open just before opening ceremonies each day at 4 p.m., with Flip the opening act on stage Saturday at 4:45 p.m., followed at 5:40 p.m. by Akira Ikuma. Isamu Shimoji is on stage at 6:35 p.m., making way for Diamantes at 7:50 p.m. The Orion campaign girls will get the crowd pumped up for the special live performance by Diamantes.

Tokkie & Kumoji Band open the musical entertainment at 5:15 p.m. Sunday, followed by Manami live on stage. The Orion campaign girls entertain at 6:05 p.m., followed by Ikuma Akira. The Orion Beer Break Time starts at 7:20 p.m., getting everyone ready for the show-capper, a live performance by one of the best known groups on the island, Begin. As with Saturday night, fireworks bring the festivities to a close at 8:55 p.m.

Organizers say they want the 2012 Orion Beer Festival to be fun for everyone, but notes that there are rules to be followed. Individuals under age 20 may not drink, although they may enter the festival grounds when accompanied by an adult sponsor. Drinking and driving don’t mix, and Orion sponsors prohibit driving after drinking.

All alcohol must be purchased from the Orion beer booths, or at other festival vendors. No cooler boxes, bottles, gas, fireworks, stones, blocks and stakes are permitted. Likewise, tables, parasols, chairs and bicycles may not be brought to the festival venue. Towels, sunshades, hats and caps are permitted and encouraged, and visitors are also urged to drink plenty of fluids.

Only registered vendors may sell products at the Koza Athletic Park. Smoking is permitted only in designated areas, and dogs and other pets are not permitted. All visitors are urged to be courteous in recycling bottles, Pet-bottles, paper, plastic and recyclable waste.