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Fireworks, sunset concert at Ocean Expo

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2007-07-05

Thousands of fireworks will light up the northern Okinawa skies next Saturday as the highlight of the Ocean Expo Park Summer Festival 2007.

Organizers expect more than 50,000 spectators will flock to Emerald Beach at Ocean Expo Memorial Park on July 14 to witness the hour-long barrage of pyrotechnics capping the Saturday festival. It’s largest fireworks extravaganza on the island, with 10,000 colorful fireworks being fired off starting at 8 p.m. The battery of fireworks actually comes in two stages, 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., with a 10-minute intermission while technicians reload the launch tubes.

Emerald Beach in Motobu Town kicks off the festivities at noon Saturday with eight hours of what it calls a ‘Beach Attraction’ filled with music and fun. Expect an Eisa parade, food and game booths, and local bands performing on stage throughout the afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m. A sunset concert begins at 6 p.m., featuring Johnny Ginowan, Jimama and D-51.

Festival officials encourage visitors to be patient, because the large crowds will tax the roads system and make exit travel slow. There’s plenty of parking at the Emerald Beach site, but it’s all expected to be full by mid-afternoon. The Ocean Expo Park closes at 10pm, and no overnight stays or parking are allowed. Organizers note, however, there are plenty of nearby beaches that allow overnight parking.

Travel to Ocean Expo Park is easy, although slow, taking about 2 1/2 hours for the journey. Take Okinawa Expressway to Kyoda Interchange, then follow signs to Motobu, and Ocean Expo Park.

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