: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Entertainment
Browse Entertainment Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

AmericaFest returns to Kadena after four-year hiatus

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2008-07-01

Independence Day weekend at Kadena is really going to be special, as Team Kadena prepares for its first AmericaFest in four years.

AmericaFest takes place Friday and Saturday, July 4th and 5th, an event expected to draw more than 50,000 visitors to the sprawling air base. Kadena Air Base gates will be open to the general public Saturday as the base revives its largest community outreach event. AmericaFest takes place adjacent to the flight line.

At AmericaFest, we want to give the community a chance to see the base from the inside, says the 18th Wing Vice Commander, Colonel Manson Morris. We want them to get to know our airmen and their families better, while experiencing a bit of American culture. Visitors will have a first-hand opportunity to see aircraft from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as take in entertainment and traditional foods such as hot dogs, pizza and funnel cake.

Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft and helicopters will be on display. AmericaFest visitors can inspect the F-15 Eagle, E-3 Sentry, HH-60G Pave Hawk and KC-135 tanker from the 18th Wing. Other aircraft scheduled for the two-day festival are the MC-130, F-16 Falcon, UH-1N, F/A-18 Hornet, C-12, A-10 Warthog and a C-172 from the Aero Club. A Patriot Missile Battery from the 1-1 Air Defense Artillery will also be displaying its equipment.

When we were little, we used to come to Kadena Carnival, which is now the AmericaFest, says Kaori Shimabukuro, an 18th Wing Public Affairs community relations specialist. We loved going to the carnival and experiencing American culture. She says Im glad the base is starting up this tradition again.

AmericaFest will operate noon to 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, with Friday considered an on-base open house restricted to ID card holders and their families. AmericaFest will be open to the general public on Saturday. Im definitely going to AmericaFest this year because its a chance for local people to come onto the base to see what its like living and working there, says a local contractor, Takuya Kamiya. I remember coming to an event like this many years ago, Kamiya says recalling the memories fondly. It was fun and different from any other local event, and was nice to see the aircraft up close.

Rock group Eve 6 will headline the entertainment during AmericaFest. A variety of local groups and artists are also programmed to perform. There will be a kiddie land, and fireworks to cap off each evening.

On Friday, when AmericaFest is reserved for SOFA-status personnel, five shuttle bus routes will operate from Kadena Elementary School, Kadena High School, Olympic Mall, the Commissary and the Rocker NCO Club. Buses are scheduled to run every 20 minutes, starting at 11:45 a.m.

On Saturday, when AmericaFest is open to visitors island wide, five shuttle bus routes will operate from Chibana Golf Course walk in gate for those choosing to park off base, Kadena Elementary School, Olympic Mall and the Rocker NCO Club. Buses will run approximately every 20 minutes, beginning at 11:40 a.m.

Gates are scheduled to open at 11 a.m. and inbound lanes will close at 8 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Friday, July 4th is specifically set aside as an appreciation day for military members, base civilian employees, and military families. On July 5th gates will open to the general public. Those driving to see the festivities, island residents and other guests will be escorted onto the base through the contractor gate from Route 74 and through Gate 4 from Route 58 onto the flight line.

On both days DOD civilian and military ID card holders may access Kadena Air Base through either gates 1, 2, 3 or 4. All bags carried onto the installation will be subject to search. Visitors are asked not to carry large purses, backpacks, any knives or weapons, scissors or sharp objects.

Lightweight baby strollers and umbrellas are permitted at the AmericaFest, but pets are not allowed. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen. Beverages will be sold during the event including water, soft drinks and beer. Beer will only be sold to people ages 21 and older. Smoking is prohibited.

Browse Entertainment Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker