Coming up: Okinawan Festival

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thumb-2For many locals, Labor Day weekend means one thing: time for the Okinawan Festival!

As in year’s past, this weekend’s 31st annual event on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 features entertainment, cultural displays and of course, lots of delicious eats. A staggering 50,000 people typically turn out for this two-day festival. So come get your andagi on. Here’s the rundown of what’s happening:
When: Saturday, Aug. 30 (starts at 9 a.m.; most food booths & tents close at 6 p.m.; Okinawa soba and andagi booths open until 8 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept. 1 (starts at 9 a.m.; Craft Gallery and Children’s Games close at 4:30 p.m.; most food booths & tents close at 5 p.m.
Where: Kapiolani Park
Who’s putting it on: Hawaii United Okinawa Assn.
Entertainment: Live Entertainment from local Okinawan groups and entertainers from Okinawa at Kapiolani Park Bandstand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; on Sunday, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. local taiko, traditional Okinawan dance, sanshin, koto and karate groups perform. Here’s the full entertainment lineup
More info:

Bon dance: 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday

thumb-1The eats: Anda pop (andagi on a stick dipped in chocolate; only sold during bon dance); andagi; Andadog (Okinawan version of the corndog, a whole hot dog on a stick dipped in andagi batter and deep fried); Champuru Plate (vegetables and agedofu (deep-fried tofu) are mixed together champuru-style, stir-fried and then served with rice, shoyu pork, and andamisu); Oki Dog (A hotdog and chili wrapped in a soft tortilla with shredded shoyu pork and lettuce); Okinawan soba; Pig’s Feet Soup; Yaki Soba; Shaved Ice; Chicken plate; Chili & Rice; Chili Frank Plate; Maki Sushi; Yakitori Stick.

Other activities:

• Ti Jukuishina-Mushimun arts & crafts gallery

• Cultural tent includes two displays, one on Okinawan sumo and another on the steamship that brought the first Okinawan immigrants to Hawaii in January 1900;

• Okinawa textiles

thumb-3• Kimono and Paranku dressing and picture-taking will be available on Saturday and Sunday from 9–11:30am and from 1– 3:30 p.m. As professional photographer will be on site to take photos for a fee.

• Machiya-Gwa Country Store sells fresh vegetables, such as Okinawan sweet potato, goya (bittermelon), eggplant and assorted desserts (Okinawa sweet potato manju, brownies, cookies, chips & kettle corn). Look for Aloha Tofu specialties, incluidng assorted flavors of Tofu Mousse, Tofu Poke, Yushi Dofu and Yaki Bites.

• Children’s games (miniature golf, “habu” hunt, Andagi dunk, fishpond, inflatables and more).

A preview