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Itoman City Lights Up For 2nd Peaceful Illumination Celebration

Date Posted: 2000-12-15

Nishizaki Shinsui Park in Itoman City will again be festooned in lights at the second annual Peaceful Illumination Celebration, when 1.3 million light bulbs set in trees and structures in the park are turned on Friday. The celebration will continue through Jan. 3, and the lights will be turned on daily from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

According to organizers, some 50,000 people visited the event a year ago and they hope to exceed that total this year. Besides lights, there will be plenty of stalls that sell food and drinks during the festival. There will also be displays and sales of local products.

The Okinawan Peace Bell, a 543-year-old relic from the era of the Ryukyu Kingdom will be on display through the event. Organizers also will read messages of peace, which they have received from different countries around the world. Itoman City is the site where the last battles of World War II took place.

The event’s opening ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, followed by Itoman Hometown Festival over the weekend. The festival features various local groups performing Eisa, Taiko drummers, music, karate, kobudo exhibitions and more. The following weekend, Dec. 23 and 24 will see more folk performances and a public Christmas dance party.

On New Year’s Eve, a “Countdown Concert” and fireworks display will take place. The lights will be turned off on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2001.

Directions: Take Hwy 58 to Naha and head for Itoman City. After passing the Naha Military Port, the Hwy 58 turns into Hwy 331. Approaching Itoman, follow signs to Nishizaki Athketic Park, and you will find yourself at the festival site.

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