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Okinawa ready for fun after typhoon threat

Date Posted: 2011-09-23

Okinawans are ready for some festival fun this weekend after having another weekend blown by threats of Typhoon Roke slamming the island.

That didnít materialize, as the recalcitrant tropical storm-turned-typhoon veered east at the last moment to drift over the Pacific Ocean before building itself into a Category 3 typhoon head of steam as it headed for mainland Japan. The typhoon was weakening as it approached the mainland yesterday, but still, more than 1.32 million Japanese were urged to evacuate their homes in Kinki and Tokai areas as officials feared the heavy rains would cause rivers to overflow.

Here, the Kinser Festival is retooled and ready to open the gates to the local community Saturday and Sunday. Thereís plenty going on Saturday 2 p.m. ~ 10 p.m., and Sunday afternoon and evening, too, with Marine Corps Community Services officials scrambling to adjust the entertainment lineup. Food vendors and activities for the kids are all Ďon takes place in the Camp Kinser warehouse area. No pets, outside alcohol, bottles, coolers or large backpacks are permitted at the Kinser Festival.

The lusty sounds of customized cars, trucks and bikes will be in the air this weekend at the Yomitan Auxiliary Airfield in Yomitan, where organizers of the Okinawa Motor Carnival in Yomitan 2011 are giving it another go. The motor show, like the Kinser Festival, was postponed as the weather system threatened Okinawa. Some 20,000 visitors are expected to pour onto the airfield tarmac to check out the 300+ vehicles on display.

The Okinawa Motor Carnival will run Saturday from 1 p.m. ~ 9 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. ~ 9 p.m. with the exhibition vehicles, special events and activities for the whole family. Visitors high school age and older are being asked to pay a •100 entry fee, most of which will be donated to the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Relief effort.

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