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Chatan's Carnival brings warm smiles and plenty to do

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-07-17

The "Seaport Chatan Carnival 1999" has arrived! This festive event is one of the few "matsuri" to take place right on the beach, making it a unique blend of music, food, drink, sand and sun. Entering its thirteenth year, the carnival has become one of the more popular events on the island, and its family atmosphere means both kids and adults can enjoy a day filled with fun together. The "matsuri" takes place on Chatan's famous Sunset Beach, enabling you to take full advantage of Okinawa's East China Sea for swimming and sun bathing. Put all of this together with the amount of entertainment available at the Mihama shopping complex, located just behind Sunset Beach, and you have a weekend with every possible activity at your fingertips.

Scheduled to take place during the carnival are a variety of games and live performances by local musicians. At 10 am on Saturday, July 17, the carnival begins with a "gate ball" tournament, and will be followed by a sea wall painting. Throughout the day kids can have fun with the carnival's mini pool and two gigantic slides, one of which will end with a big splash into the ocean. Be sure to catch "Tink Tink" (formerly known as Rinken Band Jr.) kick the entertainment off at 4:30 pm. "Tink Tink's" colorful and lively performance will be followed by teenage pop dancers and singers from "With You," a local talent school here on Okinawa. At 7 pm "Face 2," a duo from Chatan, will take the stage with their style of easy listening music as the sun begins to set. Closing out the night will be Okinawa's latest sensation "Shakari," lead by former Diamantes singer Chiaki. If you think all of this is enough for one day, you can relax and enjoy the fireworks as a display of colors lights up the night, ending the carnival's first day.

On Sunday, July 18, kids will be in the spotlight early in the morning with a Children's "hari" race starting at 10 am. Plenty of laughs will be provided by participants in the annual "Raft Race" event. If you enjoy Okinawan traditional music, then you will be happy with Sunday's list of stage performances - a "minyo" singing contest will take place at 4 pm, and "eisa" dancers will bring out the Okinawan spirit as night begins to fall. Fireworks will again complete the day at 9 pm.

The carnival will also have plenty of food and drinks available to satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst. You can expect to find "yakitori," rib steak, and "yakisoba" amongst the many choices of snacks and food for sale.

Bring the whole family to Sunset Beach this weekend and enjoy the warm weather and festivities at the "Seaport Chatan Carnival."

Sunset Beach is located behind the Jusco Department Store in Chatan.

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