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Planes, cars, cycles highlight Flightline Fair

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2006-08-18

The Marines call it “the best of the best!”

Okinawans and Americans agree. The Futenma Flightline Fair is most likely the best military festival of the year, and it’s happening this weekend. Sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services, the event takes place Saturday and Sunday at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in Ginowan.

As the name suggests, the Futenma Flightline Fair centers its actions along the lengthy runway, which will be closed to air traffic for the weekend. The Flightline Fair runs 3~10pm Saturday, and 1~10pm on Sunday, featuring dozens of game booths and entertainment rides, Kiddie Land for children, and tons of cultural foods to satisfy any gastronomic desire.

A plus this year is one of the largest custom car and motorcycle shows on the island. Admission is free to everyone on Okinawa, but organizers warn that pets are not invited or permitted on the flightline.

MCCS festivals on Okinawa always feature exciting entertainment for all ages, and this year’s Flightline Fair is no exception. This year’s lineup includes live bands performing a variety of musical genres. Topping the entertainment list are the adult contemporary sounds of The Style Band featuring Nude Voices and Carlos Saldana, the Alternative rock of Venoltian Relic, the rock/pop music of Switch, the local sensations The Unity featuring Arisa, eisa dancers and more.

There’s also to be entertainment for sports lovers in forms of an open fun run and a bench press competition. The Open Flightline Bench Press takes place Saturday on the festival grounds. On site registration for the bench press competition, which is open to participants island wide, can be accomplished for $15 between 2~3pm Saturday. Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in each weight class, as well as to overall winners. A mandatory pre-event briefing takes place Saturday at 3:45pm.

The Open Flightline Fair 2.5 kilometer, 5 kilometer and 10 kilometer fun run will take place Sunday, starting from the Semper Fit Gym. Participants can register Sunday between 5:30~6:30am for $20. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 who sign up. The event is open to participants island wide.

Individual awards go to first, second and third place finishers, as well as to overall winners. A mandatory runners brief will be at 7:45am Sunday at the Semper Fit Gym.

One of the things MCCS festival-goers look forward to each year are great giveaways and prizes offered up by generous sponsors. This year is no exception, as a few lucky winners will ‘Win Big at the Fest.’ Organizers say round-trip tickets for two are at stake for one of three United Airlines USA destinations, a two-night stay at Club Med Kabira Resort on Ishigaki Island, and a seating class upgrade aboard United Airlines. All prizes are courtesy of United Airlines, Omega World Travel, Club Med and Okinawa Tourist Service. Also joining the sponsor ranks this year is Verizon.

Getting There

Traffic will be heavy whether entry is from Mihara gates or Highway 58. We 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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