Ocean Expo Park Summer Fest delivers biggest bang
Of the dozens of fireworks Okinawa has every summer the biggest of them all takes place at the Emerald Beach of the Expo Park in Motobu where more than 10,000 fireworks will light the skies next Saturday, Jul. 18th, in a brilliant display of pyrotechnics rightfully billed as Okinawa’s best fireworks festival.
This year marks the 37th time the annual Ocean Expo Park Summer Festival will attract tens of thousands of people to its afternoon and evening event that features live entertainment kicking off at 4 p.m., and fireworks exploding in vivid colors at 8 p.m. Officially, the fun begins at noon and runs through the afternoon until 6 p.m. at the Asobinohama (Play Beach) where kids from 1 to 99 can enjoy a dolphin slider, water gun battle, water balloon darts, and more.
Three bands take to the stage at 6 p.m. Johnny Ginowan and WALE WALE, Sky’s The Limit and GILLE entertain the visitors while they wait for the fireworks at 8 p.m.
According to organizes well over 40,000 people come to enjoy the day and see the large fire flowers explode across the night sky for an hour, except for a brief pause halfway to reload the fireworks tubes.
The FM Okinawa “Golden Hour” broadcasts live from 6 p.m. ~ 8 p.m. from the venue, and also acts as the host of the concert.
Although there is free parking for nearly 3,000 cars, that’s not nearly enough, so everyone should prepare for traffic jams, and restrictions will also be implemented.
Route 114 will have restrictions as all vehicles will be restricted from Kakinouchi intersection to the intersection adjacent to the fireworks site from 7 p.m. ~ 11 p.m. All vehicles will be restricted on Route 114 from Urasaki intersection to the intersection adjacent to the fireworks site from 8 p.m. ~ 11 p.m. From 8:20 p.m. to 11 p.m., a section of Route 114 will be one way, starting from the intersection adjacent to the fireworks site and ending at Urasaki intersection.
All vehicles will be restricted on Town Road 16 from Yamachan-bento to the three-way intersection joined by Route 114, except for Toyokawa residents and visitors to local commercial facilities, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Route 505 will have no restrictions, and traffic will flow in both directions.