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Flightline funfest promises weekend excitement

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2005-08-20

It is billed as the biggest Marine Corps festival of the year on Okinawa.

The Futenma Flightline Fair, which calls itself the “best of the best” in annual entertainment, kicks off Saturday at 3pm, and runs Sunday until 10pm.

As the name implies, all the action takes place along the sprawling Marine Corps Air Base flightline, which will be closed to air traffic. The base will open its gates to all Okinawa residents.

The festival will again be delighting Americans and locals alike with top notch entertainment, free of course, game booths and amusement rides, Kiddle Land for children, and enough cultural foods to appease the heartiest of appetites. Organizers do stress that pets are not permitted at the Futenma Flightline Fair.

DJ’s spinning the discs and live bands performing a variety of musical genres will be featured on stage. Look for music including country, rock, hip hop and more. Headliners are the San Francisco 49ers Gold Rush Cheerleaders, a special appearance by AFE Country Music artis Chris Gray.

There’s also to be entertainment by local rap artist Sekai, variety music by HyperBeat, classic rock with StormWatch and Sound & Fury, and a hip hop dance performance by T-DA. Be prepared for some sensational actions from Claverio, offering belly dancing and more.

Sports lovers get a shot at both a fun run and a bench press weights competition during the fair. The Open Flightline Bench Press takes place August 20th at the Semper Fit Gym. Entry fee is $10. Late entrants can register the day of the event, starting at 2:30pm. An additional late entry fee will be levied. The event is open to participants island wide, with awards going to first, second and third place finishers in each weight

The Open Flightline Habu Run kicks off from the Semper Fit Gym on Sunday.

Regular registration deadline is tomorrow, with late entrants signing up for $20 instead of $15 the day of the event. Event prep and final registration starts at 5:30am Sunday.

An annual highlight of the Futenma Flightline Fair is the vast amounts of prizes and giveaways, and this year’s no exception. United Airlines, Omega World Travel, Club Med, Okinawa Tourist Service and MCI are the ace sponsors for this year’s event. A few lucky winners will win really big. At stake are round trip tickets for two to any United Airlines gateway city, or a seating class upgrade, courtesy of United Airlines and Omega World Travel.

A lucky family will also with a four-day/three-night stay for a family of four at Club Med on Ishigaki Island. That prize includes round trip airfare, courtesy of Club Med and Okinawa Tourist Service.

Getting There

Traffic will be heavy whether entry is from Mihara gates or Highway 58. We’d recommend the Highway 58 choice as easier to find. Travel south from Camp Foster and points north. As you enter Ginowan City, look for the traffic light (which will probably have a long, long line of cars waiting to make the turn) and make a left turn. Follow the winding road up the hill. For those coming from Naha and Camp Kinser, proceed north, then look for the line of cars wanting to turn right up the hill to the Futenma gate.

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