Nirai Haarii invites everyone to share in family fun at Fisherina
Uminchu Wharf, also known as Chatan Fisherina area, next to Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort is a facility that aims to become the center of marine leisure activities of every kind on Okinawa.
On Sunday, Jun. 19th, the port in front of the Fisherina will be the venue of the 10th Nirai Haarii dragon boat races and a festival that will also feature other events that are fun to the whole family from toddlers to grandpas.
The opening ceremony of the event starts at 08:00, followed by dragon boat races lasting through early afternoon. Participants for the dragon boat races, which are conducted with sabani-style traditional fishing boats with crews of 12, include children’s groups, women’s groups and school children’s groups. The race between crews from Chatan’s junior high schools is labeled as the highlight of the races. All crews will paddle their boats on the course of about 700 meters, three boats at a time.
While the boats race on the water, folks on the shore are entertained with fish catching contest, Eisa and live music performances by bands like Sky’s the Limit and Homeland Okinawa☆CHURROS☆. A fireworks display ends the day.
Haarii races were traditionally held in fishing communities on Okinawa on May 4 of the lunar calendar. They have lately evolved into community events that are held at various places through the early summer, and in addition to boat races, feature family oriented entertainment, music, food and drink stalls, fireworks and more. They are seen as a good opportunity to help local revitalization, attract tourists and otherwise a chance for residents to get together and foster community spirit.