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'Hanabi Illusion' launches 2011 festivals season

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2011-04-07

A fireworks extravaganza created by a fashion designer and executed by one of the world’s top pyrotechnic teams awaits visitors April 16th as Ryukyu Kaiennsai 2011 presents the season’s first festival and fireworks display.

Sponsored by Ryukyu Kaiennsai Implementation Committee and Japan Air Lines, Hanabi Illusion is a show with more than 10,000 brilliantly colorful rockets, starbursts and more filling the skies over Ginowan Tropical Beach. “Once you meet, everybody becomes brothers, sisters” is this year’s Ryukyu Kaiennsai theme for the hour-long dazzling fireworks exhibition that also brings music and culture to this 8th annual event. Fireworks are coordinated to launch in sync with the music and music tempo, and a laser light show.

The fireworks design is by Junko Koshino, a worldwide renowned fashion designer. Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc., an American pyrotechnics company that won “the Huis Ten Bosch Hanabi World Cup” in Nagasaki last year, has been selected to bring the fireworks illusion to life. Koshino, who also produced last year’s fireworks festival, 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’s also produced the Japan Festival in Washington D.C.

Entertainment kicks off in the afternoon at Haisai Square on Tropical beach, and will continue until the fireworks exhibition kicks off. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16th, with the fireworks show starting at 7:30 p.m. Organizers say the show goes on, rain or shine, although extremely rough weather such as storms of heavy winds, will result in a postponement to Sunday the 16th.

The Ryukyu Motor Carnival is open from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the same day, adjacent to the festival area. The show features a unique display of cars and bicycles. Food and beverage tents and stands will be available.

Ginowan City is cosponsoring the Ryukyu Kaiennsai, together with Japan Transocean Air, Okinawa Cellular Phone, Meiji, Okinawa Family Mart, Japan Tourism Agency, Agency for Cultural Affairs, Okinawa Prefecture, Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau, Ginowan City Tourism Promotion Society, Ginowan City Society of Commerce and Industry, Ginowan City Socialite Food and Drink Industry, and the Okinawa Hotel Life Sanitary Association.

Tickets are now on sale for Ryukyu Kaiennsai 2011. Advance adult tickets are ¥3,500 or ¥4,000 at the gate. High school student tickets are ¥2,500 in advance or ¥3,000 at the gate. Junior high school and elementary school student admission is ¥1,500 in advance or ¥2,000 at the gate. Entrance for pre-school age children is free.

Tickets are required for entrance to the beach festival area. Visitors may bring their own blankets or chairs. Anyone choosing to watch the fireworks from outside the beach may do so free. Information is available at the official website, http://www.ryukyu-kaiensai.com/ or by calling (098) 897-2764 during business hours Monday through Friday.

Kaihin Park is located directly behind the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan City. Parking is restricted in the Convention Center area. Public parking is available a few hundred meters away but due to large crowds use of public transportation or taxis is advised.

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