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Okinawa Pottery Festival sets Kadena USO weekend

Date Posted: 2009-11-25

A unique pottery festival takes place this weekend on Kadena Air Base to promote USO programs.

The 3rd Annual Okinawa Pottery Festival benefits the United Service Organization, taking place outside the Kadena USO Saturday and Sunday. “Supporting the USO is a great way of giving back to yourselves while enjoying the services, programs and events delivered to you through USO’s dedicated staff members, volunteers, vendors, partners and friends,” says an official who explains the upcoming festival is one of the USO’s most popular community outreach programs.

The Pottery Festival brings the local community to Kadena Air Base for the November 28th and 29th event, which runs 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Pottery on display has been created by some of Okinawa’s most famous artists from Okinawa City, Yomitan Village, Onna, Shuri and Tsuboya areas, with reputable vendors and merchandise coming from the artists and others. Culture events sponsored by the USO include well known and reputable vendors who bring merchandise such as the traditional shisa’s (shi-shi dogs) this weekend, and dinner wear, vases, décor and more at this and others.

“As a non-profit organization, USO operates out of contributions, donations and sponsorships to provide free programs, services and events to troops and families,” explains a USO official describing the upcoming pottery festival. “International calls via skype phones, wi-fi and internet service, a relaxing lounge with large screen televisions, multiple rooms and a movie theater for hosting special function, recreational lounges to enjoy billiards, X-Box gaming as well as providing a get away from daily stress” are all possible through funding from events such as the pottery special,” he said.

Potters participating in this weekend’s festival include Misato Yaki, Ikutoen, Mahae Kobo, Yachimunya, Shinko Tobo, Tokusangama, Gajyubaru Tobo, Satoshi Tobo, Arakaki Touen, Toushigama, Haruurara Kobo, Tamagusuku Yaki, Fukufukuya, Kinjo Touki, Koubou Sen, Ryukyu Pottery Works, Asumorigama and Tougeikobo Kamiya. Aside from the potters’ works, there will be vendors and demonstration booths allowing a chance for everyone to create their own pieces of art.

USO officials say there will be giveaways, silent auctions and other events befriending famous Okinawan potters and reputable sponsors that include UMUC, U.S. Land, Yotsutake, Nampou and On-Time Cleaning. In the event of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the Kadena USO.

Events such as the pottery festival are key to “USO Okinawa’s primary mission of taking care of the MWR needs of the military community with free programs and services.,” says a USO official who adds “our secondary mission is to bridge the military and local community with outreach programs and events such as the Okinawa Craft Fair and Pottery Festival. Supporting the USO is a great way of giving back to yourselves while enjoying the services, programs and events delivered through USO’s dedicated staff.

Free programs include the popular FJF, Free Food Night, holiday cakes, Operation USO Care Packages, and Welcome Aboard BBQ’s.

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