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Planes, displays highlight Flightline Fair

By: By Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2009-08-20

The Marines call it ďthe best of the best!Ē

Okinawans and Americans canít help but agree. The Futenma Flightline Fair is most likely the best military festival of the year, and itís happening this weekend. Sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services, the event takes place Saturday and Sunday at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station in Ginowan.

As the name implies, the Futenma Flightline Fair is focused along the lengthy runway, which will be closed to air traffic for the weekend. The Flightline Fair runs 3~10pm Saturday, and 1~10pm on Sunday, featuring dozens of game booths and entertainment rides, Kiddie Land for children, and tons of cultural foods to satisfy any gastronomic desire.

Bands are a big part of this yearís Futenma Flightline Fair, with variety a key word. On stage will be the Brenda Vaughn Band, variety band Myxed, and classic rockers Storm Watch. Other festival entertainment includes Folklorico and T-da Dance.

Admission is free to everyone on Okinawa, but organizers warn that pets are not invited or permitted on the flightline. Also on the prohibited list are backpacks and outside alcohol.

One of the things MCCS festival-goers look forward to each year are great giveaways and prizes offered up by generous sponsors. This year is no exception, as a few lucky winners will ĎWin Big at the Fest.í Organizers say round-trip tickets for two are at stake for one of six United Airlines USA destinations, and a seating class upgrade aboard United Airlines. All prizes are courtesy of United Airlines and Omega World Travel.

On the food front, 14 contestants will eat their way to victory in the MCCS Hot Dog Eating Contest sponsored by Nathanís, with a grand prize of roundtrip tickets for two to any United Airlines USA gateway city. There will also be opportunities for sports lovers to show their skills in arm-wrestling and bench-press competitions.
The entertainment lineup for Saturday begins with a stage giveaway at 3:45 p.m., followed by Ballet Folklorico at 5:15 p.m. Kakazu Seinenkai Eis performs at 6:15 p.m., followed by T-da Dance hip hop at 7 p.m., Myxed Band at 8 p.m. and The Brenda Vaughn Band at 9:15 pm.

Sundayís shows begin with a stage giveaway at 2 pm., Storm Watch Bandís classic rock at 4:25 p.m., the Nathanís Hot Dog Eating Contest at 5:30 p.m. and Ryujin Densetsu shi-shi, dragon and eisa dance at 6:30 p.m. Myxed Band is on stage at 7:30 p.m., and the Brenda Vaughn Band at 9 p.m. A 9:45 p.m. fireworks display caps the Futenma Flightline Fair.

Getting There
Traffic will be heavy whether entry is from Mihara gates or Highway 58. We recommend the Highway 58 choice as easier to find. Travel south from Camp Foster and points north. As you enter Ginowan City, look for the traffic light (which will probably have a long, long line of cars waiting to make the turn) and make a left turn. Follow the winding road up the hill. For those coming from Naha and Camp Kinser, proceed north, then look for the line of cars wanting to turn right up the hill to the Futenma gate.

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