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Torii Station presents craft fair and holiday football classic

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1998-11-27

Torii Station is hosting two great holiday events on Saturday, December 5. Taking place at the softball field will be the annual Army vs. Navy flag football game, and just nearby, at the gymnasium, will be the "Krist Kindle Mart" (Craft Fair). Both MWR events will be happening simultaneously, which promises to mean much fun and excitement for all visitors.

The "Krist-Kindle Fair" is one of Okinawa's largest craft events, bringing together over eighty vendors. The event, which is known for its quality craftsmanship and unique gift items, has been growing in size every year. With the spirit of Christmas in mind, everything from wreaths to hand carved wood crafts can be purchased. Torii station's own Arts and Crafts Center will be on hand selling various items, including wood carved miniature reindeer. Doors will open at 10 am, and will close at 5:30 pm.

The concept of the "Krist-Kindle Fair" was brought to Torii Station from Germany, where every year before Christmas, traditional markets come alive at different German towns. The name was taken from Nuremberg's market, called "Christkindlesmarkt" (Christ Child's Market). The market provides shoppers with a place to purchase many different handmade ornaments and decorations for the holidays. It is deep rooted in tradition, and has been carried out for centuries.

Although a bit less traditional than the markets of Germany, Torii station's "Krist-Kindle Fair" is still an excellent option to crowded shopping malls that sell the same routine merchandise. Crafts present a great opportunity to pick up a special gift or a decorative piece for your home, and some of Okinawa's top craft makers will be present.

A Christmas tree lighting ceremony will also take place at the PX parking lot, starting at 6 pm, and kids will get to see Santa Clause, who will arrive on a fire truck. Santa is expected to be busy running around the whole day.

Before or after shopping, be sure to check out the Army vs. Navy flag football game. With last year's champion Army being victors six out of the last eight years, Navy will be looking for a big win this year. Torii Station is actually one of the few bases around the world that holds the annual game, and it is usually scheduled as close to the date of the "real" game as possible. Army MWR's Marketing Chief Henry Ortega said, "It's serious but in a positive way. It's a good moral booster and great for camaraderie." The winner will walk away with bragging rights and also the "Commander's Cup". Opening ceremonies will begin at 12:25 pm and kick off time will happen at 1 pm. AFN will air the game live on channel 89.1 FM for those who can not attend.

A kid's "Punt Pass and Kick" contest will start before the game at 9:30 am, and will be open to all boys and girls from ages seven to fifteen. All those eligible are asked to sign up at the field at 9 am.

The Coral Cove Club will also have two food booths set up, selling burgers, hot dogs, soft drinks, and beer. Due to the amount of small children expected, visitors are asked to refrain from bringing any glass containers to prevent injuries.

"None of this could have been done without our sponsors from AT&T and Coca Cola Japan. This is definitely a unique program. It's one of the only programs where the Navy MWR and Army MWR work together. It's really good to see two different MWRs involved in the same event, commented Ortega. "This is also the second biggest community relations event on Torii Station. We encourage Japanese to come and see some American football, and also pick up some very unique crafted items. This is a fun event for everyone."

For more information on either event, please contact MWR at 644-4144 or 644-4334.

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