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White Beach Festival to brighten weekend

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2008-11-07

Veterans Day isn’t until Tuesday, but the US Navy’s all fired up to make this weekend something special.

The 20th Anniversary White Beach Festival kicks off at 3 p.m. Friday for a three-day run at the Navy’s base on Okinawa’s east coast, and the party doesn’t end until 11 p.m. Sunday. Organizers promise fun-filled weekend loaded with live entertainment, game and food booths, a Space Bounce, Banana Boat Rides, kids rides a kids obstacle course, and more. The festival is open to everyone islandwide.

Sponsored by Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the White Beach Festival will bring the pop rock band Smash Mouth to center stage to perform Saturday evening at 8 p.m. The music begins as the festival opens Friday at 3 p.m., though, with DJ music until 11 p.m., with a break for oldies band Eddie & Mike from 7 ~ 10 p.m. The deejays will be spinning the tunes Saturday and Sunday as well, day and night.

The Awkwards Clown Show is on stage at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and again Sunday at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The Ke Aloha Polynesian Dancers are on stage at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Sunday afternoon the Tenryu Daiko taiko drum group performs at 2:30 p.m., the Ryukyu Dance group appears at 5 p.m., and Acoustic Live with Barbara Read & KLUSO perform Sunday evening 7 ~ 10 p.m.

The headline act, Smash Mouth, performs a 90-minute show Saturday beginning at 7 p.m. The band will take a break, then conduct a Smash Mouth meet & greet for an hour starting at 9 p.m.

Kiddie Land will operate each day of the White Beach Festival, with a single price good for the entire day for inflatable slides, bounces and the obstacle course. Timmy the Clown will do free balloons 6 ~ 9 p.m. each evening, while banana boat rides operate noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

The festival operates 3 p.m. to midnight Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and noon to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Nap’s Ribs and a variety of Okinawan and American foods will be available at food booths throughout the festival. Both dollars and yen will be accepted, and yen exchange service is available.

While the public is invited, security officials advise visitors not to bring backpacks or large handbags or diaper bags. No backpacks will be permitted in the festival area. No pets, ice chests or carry in drinks will be allowed in the festival area.

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