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Gary Sinise to perform at AmericaFest, Camp Foster

Date Posted: 2009-07-02

The extended Independence Day weekend is shaping up to be a star-studded holiday, starting tonight with a special performance by Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band live at the Butler Theater on Camp Foster.

Doors open at 7 p.m. tonight, with the Lieutenant Dan Band performing at 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to all ranks.

The Lieutenant Dan Band returns to the stage Saturday at AmericaFest 2009, leading off the musical entertainment at the Kadena Air Base festival. The band has been touring for five years, with Lieutenant Dan the character Gary Sinise portrayed in the 1994 film Forrest Gump, a role for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best supporting Actor. As Sinise began visiting troops around the world, even little kids who didnít know him as Gary Sinise would recognize the actor as Lt. Dan, so the name for his group was an easy choice.

The Lieutenant Dan Band performs everything from Springsteen to Linkin Park, from Aretha to Hendrix. Thereís something for everyone, and each show highlights the musical diversity of the band, as well as the passion and energy each member brings to the stage to perform for the troops.

Also performing on Independence Day will be Melinda Doolittle, who became a household name on American Idolís season six. Since her time on American Idol, and her transition into the spotlight, Melindaís wowed audiences everywhere, while her debut album, Coming Back to You, has garnered rave reviews.

AmericaFest runs both Friday and Saturday, with tomorrowís attendance restricted to SOFA status personnel and their family members. Itís been set aside as an appreciation day for military members, base civilian employees and military families. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. and run until 9 p.m. Gary Sinise and the Lieutenant Dan Band, and Melinda Doolittle, will perform along with the T-Da Dancers.

On Saturday, AmericaFest is open to the general public, with gates opening at 11 a.m. Those driving to see the festivities, island residents and other guests may enter the base through the contractor gate from Route 74 or through Gate 4 from Route 58 onto the flight line. A free shuttle bus will also run from Chibana Golf Course beginning at noon and running every 20 minutes for those who desire to park off base. On both days, DOD civilians and military ID card holders may access Kadena Air base through gates 1, 2, 3 and 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 AmericaFest, but pets, skateboards and heeleys are not allowed. Beverages will be sold during the event to include water, soft drinks and beer. Beer will only be sold to people aged 21 and older. Smoking is prohibited at AmericaFest.

The F-22 Raptor aircraft will be one of the featured attractions at AmericaFest, joining some 28 other aircraft, including Japan Self Defense Force aircraft. Among other aircraft open to the public will be the F-15, KC-135, F-16, E-3, P-3, A-10, HH-60 and the PAC-3.

Marine Corps Community Services has big time entertainment Friday night at the Globe & Anchor on Camp Foster. Mixology, featuring DJ Craze, a three-time DMC World Champion, DJ Clever, the 2000 DMC National Champion, DJ Ta-Shi, DMC Japan Champion in 1992, and DJ TRe, goes on stage at 9 pm. Doors open at the Globe & Anchor for the Mixology show at 8 p.m.

The Firecracker Softball Tournament sponsored by MCCS explodes into action on the 4th of July weekend, and everyone island wide is invited to watch the competitors from Korea, Guam, mainland Japan and Okinawa compete for the tournament trophy. The action takes place at the Camp Foster baseball field complex adjacent to the Spot.

Courtney Bowling is hosting a 4th of July Pentathabowl Tournament. Registration is at the Courtney Bowling Center. Prizes are provided courtesy of AAFES. For those looking to simply cool off, MCCS pools at Camps Kinser, Foster, Plaza Housing, Courtney, McTureous, Schwab, Hansen and MCAS Futenma are open throughout the holiday weekend.

George Murasaki takes to the stage at 7th Heaven Koza on Independence Day, in a concert featuring 8 Ball. Murasakiís special guest for the 8 p.m.. Concert will be Hironobu Kageyama and Akira Takasaki from Loudness. Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are •2,500, while tickets at the door are •3,000. Special discount tickets for military personnel are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. A late show at 7th Heaven Koza will feature F.O.D.

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