Fireworks to highlight Sea Port Chatan Festival
By Bill Charles
Fireworks, music, water sports and more will be filling everyone’s schedules over the long Independence Day weekend holiday stretch, and the Sea Port Chatan Festival on July 6th and 7th promises to be one of those highlights.
The festival takes place at Chatan Sunset Beach area at Mihama, Chatan, all day both days. Admission is free. Fireworks cap the evenings both days from 8 ~ 8:15 p.m. Taking place on Chatan’s beautiful Sunset beach this all day and night mid-summer festival has it all. The Seaport Chatan Carnival Spans two days and entertains with traditional Okinawa events like Haarii, sporting competitions, and Eisa performances, and an indie rock music festival.
Prior to the official opening ceremonies an indies music contest takes place giving some local artist a chance to show off his or her talent to the attentive crowd.
Live music continues through the evening to help keep the energy of the occasion high. Of course there is the typical Japanese festival street food; corn dogs, takoyaki, those fried octopus balls, yakisoba, yakitori, potatoes, corn on the cob, and various other fried foods. This is a true part of Japanese culture, and it is highly recommended to sample many of these flavors.
The highlight of the entire event is the spectacular fireworks show taking place on both Friday and Saturday evening right on Sunset Beach. About 1,300 fireworks will be set off both days, and, according to organizers, the number of visitors last year was about 72,000 people.
A word of warning; traffic can be disastrous should you choose to drive to the fireworks as everyone tries to leave at the same time. If you are staying or living close by, biking or walking is likely to be your best option. It is also a good idea to get there early as the venue does get rather packed as it is a free show. The available parking is mainly on the 1,500–car capacity parking lot located in front of Jusco. Temporary additional parking lots will be available elsewhere in the Chatan area.