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III Marine Expeditionary Force band members perform at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival on Gate Two Street in Okinawa City on Sunday.
III Marine Expeditionary Force band members perform at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival on Gate Two Street in Okinawa City on Sunday. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
III Marine Expeditionary Force band members perform at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival on Gate Two Street in Okinawa City on Sunday.
III Marine Expeditionary Force band members perform at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival on Gate Two Street in Okinawa City on Sunday. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
The Kubasaki High School Dragon cheerleaders get the crowd warmed up Sunday at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival in Okinawa City.
The Kubasaki High School Dragon cheerleaders get the crowd warmed up Sunday at the 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival in Okinawa City. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)
A young girl in traditional Okinawan folk costume participates in the carnival.
A young girl in traditional Okinawan folk costume participates in the carnival. (Chiyomi Sumida / S&S)

OKINAWA CITY — The 13th annual Okinawa International Carnival attracted more than 50,000 people to Gate Two Street and the Okinawa Children’s Zoo last weekend.

The autumn festival featured cultural events including a tug-of-war, dance performances, a costume parade and music concerts.

The kickoff Sunday was the traditional Okinawan eisa dance performed by groups from around the island, including a team from Camp Kinser and other American and Japanese teams.

The III Marine Expeditionary Force band serenaded the crowd with American pop, jazz and traditional marches, and cheerleaders from Kubasaki and Kadena high schools drew cheering and clapping from the spectators.

An Okinawa Youth Group from Kadena Air Base, several martial arts groups and flamenco and samba dancing teams rounded out the rich international flavor to the festival.

The carnival ended with a tug-of-war between teams of Americans and people from the island using a four-ton, 230-yard long rope.

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