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Three-day festival brightens the weekend

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2004-11-12

The US Navy wants you to have a wonderful holiday weekend.

It wants you to visit White Beach and join in the festivities of its semi-annual White Beach Festival, which runs tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday. Organizers say itís the perfect way to cap the four-day Veterans Day holiday time off.

The festival opens at noon Friday, and runs to 10pm. Saturday the gates at the naval installation open at noon, and the party goes until 10pm. Sunday more of the same, with access to the base beginning at noon, with the festivities winding down by 10pm. The White Beach Festival is open to everyone, islandwide.

While the public is invited, security officials advise visitors not to bring backpacks or large handbags or diaper bags. Those items will draw scrutiny from organizers and security personnel.

Entertainment will be nearly non-stop through the weekend as the festival planners want visitors to have a good time. This is the first White Beach Festival for Captain Bob Wilson, Commander Fleet Activities Okinawa. He says thereís plenty to do during the festival, including banana boat rides, kiddyland, plenty of activities for families and children, tons of food, and games.

Foods cover the world. There are vendor booths offering a variety of foods from countries throughout Asia, as well as American and South American entrees.

The drawing card is entertainment though, and thereís a bunch. From DJís to both known and new artists on Okinawa, thereíll be plenty of hip swaying, toe tapping tunes. Doug and Stevie open on Friday, with Dave Ralstonís style of blues wafting out beginning center stage at 8pm.

Saturday opens with oldies and the Zamami Brothers at 12:30, moves on to Pumpkinhead punk and rock, the Hesikiya Preschool band at 6pm, Hispanic dance group Ballet Folkorico and then Cloud 9 center stage at 8pm. Sunday begins with a Tahitian dance group, Pacificana Polynesia at 1:30pm, then on to Mabuhay Philippine dance group, then an Aikido demonstration at 3:45pm. Okinawa music follows with Ryukyu Buyo and the Katsuren Ryukyu dancers, and Tenryu Daiko, a taiko group.

Okinawans will love the Japanese comedy show Yurikiya starting at 6:30pm, and the Hozonkai Eisa. The Zamai Brothers return for a Sunday evening encore performance beginning at 8pm.

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