Music legends’ tunes to provide background for fireworks

By Bill Charles

The year’s first fireworks display, the Ryukyu Kaiensai, kicks to the skies Saturday evening over Tropical Beach.

Okinawa’s first fireworks festival of the season is coming up Saturday night, and organizers of the Ryukyu Kaiensai are holding their collective breaths that weathermen are correct and there will be beautiful skies for the ‘Firework Illusion’.

This year’s fireworks will be launched in tune with Sweet Caroline from Elvis Presley, Draft Punk’s Get Lucky, Another Star by Stevie Wonder, Robin Thicke ft. T.I. Pharrell with Blurred Lines, Stop! In the Name of Love by The Supremes, When Will I See You Again from the Three Degrees. Bruno Mars belts out Just the Way You Are, Marvin Gaye asks musically What’s Going On, and Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World will close the opening segment.  Following that will be the 2nd Okinawa Part, 3rd Meiji Part, 4th Koshino Junko-designed fireworks and the 5th is the grand finale.

This year’s spectacular marks the Ryukyu Kaiensai’s 11th. anniversary, and is a massive collaboration between traditional performing arts “fireworks” which Japan is proud of, “the nature and culture” which Okinawa has, and “music.” Junko Koshino, the global fashion designer designed the spectacular fireworks that will be accompanied by the music of Brazil in honor of 2014 Soccer World Cup Finals to be held in Brazil.

Koshino, who also produced the past three years’ fireworks festivals, is an Osaka native who graduated from the Bunka Fashion College, then moved on to participate in Paris’ collection, holding fashion shows in Beijing, New York, Vietnam and Cuba. Her designs and illusions integrate the latest computer technology with contemporary music. She has also produced the Japan Festival in Washington D.C.

The Ryukuyu Kaiensai fireworks will go ahead rain or shine, but the weather forecast so far looks positive.  Organizers encourage spectators to bring their own cushions to the venue at Tropical Beach, in Ginowan.  More than 10,000 pyrotechnics of all shapes, sizes, patterns and colors are set to be launched.  Gates open at 4:30 p.m. and the music and fireworks program begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are now available at all Family Marts and E-plus: http://eplus.jp/rks. Advance adult tickets with parking permit included are ¥3,800. An advance adult ticket only is ¥2,700, Children’s tickets are ¥1,600.  At the door Saturday,  parking with an adult ticket is ¥4,500, while an adult entry ticket only is ¥3,300, while at the gate tickets for children  are ¥2,200.