World Festival in Machigwa heralds world’s music

Ethnic music sounds throughout the day.

The multi-national World Festival in Machigwa returns to Okinawa Saturday, featuring the music from more than a dozen countries.

Foods from various parts of the world are prepared and served at stands run by people from abroad who are currently residing on Okinawa.

The World Festival in Machigwa premiered in Naha City a year ago, drawing great marks and a good reputation for its diversity of music, foods and international culture.  This year’s festival takes place at Nigiwai Hiroba in Naha City, 2-7-10 Matsuo.  The festival is free, running from 11 a.m. ~ 6 p.m., rain or shine.

Saturday is a good chance to see a variety of world music groups on Okinawa.  The world music of Cuba, Morocco, Guinea, Middle East, Mongolia and Brazil will be played at an open-space in Machigwa in Naha.

Folk dances are also included in the program.

Machigwa, by the way, stands for a public market in Okinawan dialect.  Axe Andarginha of Samba and Brazilian dance sisters and the local famous salsa band KACHIMBA will warm up the event.

Of course, a variety of ethnic foods will be there.  One of the highlights is the International Karaoke show this year.  Food stalls are open 11 a.m. ~ 6 p.m., with the Samba Parade kicking off the entertainment.  Live music takes place 1 p.m. ~ 3 p.m., and again 5 p.m. ~ 5:30 p.m.  The International Karaoke Show begins at 3 p.m.

The festival, hosted by the Naha City Central Shopping Street Alliance Association, presents international vendor stands from Brazil, Peru, Mexico, India, Taiwan, Thailand, Myanmar, Ghana, Okinawa and more! All stand owners have come from abroad, and are currently residing in Okinawa.  The festival begins at 11 a.m., with action on stage running from 1 p.m. ~ 5:30 p.m. at the Sunrise Naha Shopping Center, reached by entering Heiwa Dori arcade from Kokusai

There’s no free parking in the downtown area; only pay parking.