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Industrial Festival accents Okinawa products

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2007-01-25

This weekendıs Okinawa City Industrial Festival is a combination of introduction to OkinawaCity-made products and two days of sheer family fun.

The 30th annual festival runs Saturday and Sunday in and around the Okinawa Comprehensive Sports Grounds at Awase in Okinawa City. Festivities run 10am
~ 7pm Saturday, and 10am ~ 6pm on Sunday, offering a full slate of entertainment and cultural events, as well as a chance to see various local products made.

This yearıs theme is ŒAim: an Okinawa City brand in which citizens take pride.ı The Industrial Festival Executive Committee says the two-day event will feature Okinawa produced marine products and processed foods, wooden handicrafts, Ryukyu musical instruments, homemade pottery, awamori, clothing, building materials, and a wide variety of Okinawa special goods.

Festival visitors will be able to observe Okinawa products being made, and can purchase many of the items on the spot.

Seven special exhibitions will operate across the two days from open until closing. The Chibana Society for Study of Textiles will demonstrate textile making, while the Chatan Bamboo Wares Studio will teach making bamboo products. Experiments in glass will be demonstrated by Hiro Glass Studio, while another local specialist will show how the pottery wheel is used to turn out Ryukyu products.

Wood sculptures making will be taught by Wood Sculpture Handicraft Yun, while the Central Leather Company will show how to work with leather. A division of the local Agriculture department will demonstrate making raw sugar from sugar cane.

In commemoration of the festivalıs 30th anniversary, organizers are planning several special events, including making a 30-meter long norimaki sushi at 4pm on Saturday and 3:30pm on Sunday. The festival will conduct a field trip to the Nakagusuku Bay New Harbor on Saturday, with applications to participate being accepted at the festival office (098) 939-1212. A Sunday 2pm tour will take festival goers to pick tankan (Okinawa oranges).

A variety of entertainment activities run virtually non-stop after the 10am opening ceremonies on Saturday at the square in front of the sports complex gymnasium. Childrenıs Eisa begins at 10:45am, sponsored by the Awase Ton Ton Mi Society of Children. Commendations and prizes will be awarded festival entrants in the gymnasium at 11am, and comedy skits by the Okinawa City Ladies Union Confederation start at 2pm. Emi Tawata and Okinawa Pops perform at 2:30pm, followed by a fashion show at 3pm, sponsored by the Okinawa City Fashion Town Propulsion Council.

The afternoon rounds out at 4pm with original live performances by Team Kuruchi and songs of Chura Shima with Kanako Hatoma, and rock and blues
music with Marieıs Band at 5:30pm.

Sunday opens at 10:45pm on center stage, with healthy exercises prepared by the Okinawa City Society for Study of Agrarian Fisheries and Village Life.

Multiple stages in several sports complex facilities, including gymnasium and recreation dome will host morning shamisen performances with Okinawa City Children Shamisen Class, choruses from Chorus Izumi, and salsa dancing with Latin Soul.

OTV Local TGhater performs at 2pm with Mitsuri Tamaki, followed at 3:20pm by hip hop dance music with Whatıs Up Akemi Dance School. Latin pop by Nankru
winds up the afternoon beginning at 3:30pm.

Getting There

The Okinawa Comprehensive Sports Ground is easy to reach. From Camp Foster go out through the Legion Gate and continue straight until you cross Route
329. Continue another 500 meters and the entrance to the park is on your left.

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