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Seaport Chatan Carnival readies for plenty of fun at the beach

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-07-10

Chatan is getting ready for their annual carnival, which will take place on July 18 and 19 at Sunset Beach. This year marks the twelfth time revelers will be enjoying plenty of food and entertainment, at what has become in recent years one of the most popular carnivals on the island. Officially called the "Seaport Chatan Carnival", it is one of the few carnivals that has its main stage located on the beach. The seaside location provides visitors with a true "island" atmosphere, and enables everyone to enjoy a day at the beach filled with plenty of sun and fun. The large area, along with plenty of parking also provides plenty of room for everyone.

This year's carnival will kick things off with an opening ceremony on Saturday morning, followed by a sea wall painting that will last all day long. Different games, such as "beach bowling" and "bingo baseball" are also on the agenda for children and adults of all ages. A variety of entertainment will take place at center stage all day, including a magic and puppet show for kids starting at 5 pm. Happening later on into the night is a concert, featuring the Latin Fusion band "Over". Their rhythmic sounds will provide the perfect setting for a spectacular sunset, which Chatan is known for.

The fun however, does not stop here. Following "Over" will be "Rinken Band", one of Okinawa's hottest musical groups. If you have not seen "Rinken Band" play live yet, be sure not to miss them Saturday night at the carnival. They play an interesting blend of traditional Okinawan and contemporary pop music, that always gets the whole crowd on their feet dancing. Their elaborate costumes, "eisa" drums, and dancing provide plenty of visual entertainment, but the real enjoyment comes from listening to their beautiful music.

Fireworks are then scheduled to take place directly after the concert, so be sure to stick around after the music stops.

Sunday promises to be a day of laughter with raft races, starting at 12 noon. This event puts teams against each other for a race out on the water, with plenty of people that are sure to get wet. The ocean entertainment continues at 2 pm with dragon boat races, which are always fun to watch. There will again be plenty of entertainment at the stage area, including a traditional Okinawan song contest from 4:30 pm until 6:30 pm.

The main attraction of the day will be Okinawan "Eisa", a traditional dance with drums. Several local groups are scheduled to perform, giving viewers a chance to see many different styles of this popular dance. Be sure to grab a seat early, since huge crowds are expected to watch the "Eisa" event, which will also be followed by fireworks at 9 pm.

You can enjoy plenty of food on both days, ranging from rib steaks to yaki soba. There will also be plenty of beer on sale, along with soft drinks and ice cream to cool you off from the heat.

So pack your sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses, and head out to sunset beach this weekend for an enjoyable treat that your whole family can enjoy. For more information please call 936-0876.

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