Ogimi Summer Festival concentrates on country fun
Known for the longevity of its residents, Ogimi Village in the northern part of the island hosts its annual summer festival on Aug. 13 and 14 that features performances by local Okinawan music artists and entertainment groups.
In addition the festival offers a variety of fun games and a tug-of-war that everyone can participate. Scheduled for the second day of the festival are a spectacular fireworks display and an Eisa show by the village youth association, marking the climax of the festival.
Especially, the tug-of-war tournament, named the “Battle of Hija!” is unique, as the winning team is awarded a live goat. ‘Hija’ means a goat in the Okinawan dialect. That contest alone attracts a large number of challengers every year.
And it wouldn’t be an Okinawan festival if it didn’t end in a grand finale with youth eisa groups and visitors joining in the kachashi dance.
The festival opening ceremony is at 14:00. The Saturday program features children’s tug-of-war and stage performance. A karaoke contest is also in the schedule.
Events on Sunday start with a haarii race at Shioya Fishing Port at 9:30. A tuna-cutting show and the Battle of Hija tug-of-war follow. Aimoco, a farmer couple from Ogimi who is a popular performing act in local festivals plays live starting at 19:30. Fireworks start at 20:15 and Eisa by a local youth group ends the festival.
Parking is available at the Yui Beach reclaimed area near the fishing port. Organizers say the festival will be postponed in the event of heavy rain or stormy weather.