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Many events to make a star spangled 4th of July weekend

Date Posted: 2008-07-04

Make no mistake about it. Anyone who complains about having nothing to do this holiday weekend simply has no motivation to get up and out on Okinawa.

There’s no shortage of music on stage at three major events. The Torii Beach Jazz & Wine Festival Saturday offers eight full hours of smooth jazz between 4 p.m. and midnight. The music’s free, while participation in the wines portion of the festival costs $20. Sponsored by Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Army Air Force Exchange Service and the Okinawa Jazz Association, the festival features Okinawa’s top jazz musicians. The evening caps with a dazzling fireworks display while jazz pianist Fumio Yara entertains.

AmericaFest is back after a four-year hiatus, and Kadena Air Base officials are hoping to pick up where the festival left off in 2003. The festival, as noted in Fantastic Okinawa on page one, is open to SOFA status personnel only on Friday, Independence Day. Saturday the air base swings open the gates to welcome the Okinawa community for a day filled with music, foods, and a multitude of static aircraft and missile displays.

Thirsty’s E Club on Futenma Marine Corps Air Station will be serving up free hamburgers and hot dogs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the 4th of July. As the food digests, DJ Popz will spin all the favorite tunes until 1:30 a.m. Camp Lester will be hosting an Independence Day evening billiards tournament, plus karaoke, at the Corpsman’s Cove. The club will serve a variety of free appetizers throughout the evening.

A two-day Country & Western 4th of July fills the bill at White Beach, with Nashville’s Floyd VanLaningham performing both Friday and Saturday evenings 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. White Beach is offering much more, with festivities kicking off at 11 a.m. each day. Take in the free buffet, and a free kiddie land for the younger set.

The Peaceful Love Rock Festival makes its 26th annual appearance Saturday and Sunday at the Okinawa City Athletic Field. With 18 different rock groups and artists performing, organizers say they expect to attract thousands of music-hungry spectators.

Okuma Recreation Facility is hosting a free festival today through Sunday. The beach is open, the weather’s great, there’s live entertainment, and each night the finale is a fireworks display.

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