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Editor’s Note: A schedule of Pacific July 4 festivities appears below this story.

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — U.S. military bases across the Pacific are celebrating Independence Day with a smorgasbord of events, from poker tournaments and petting zoos to chili cook-offs and fireworks.

A range of live entertainment also is on tap. An adults-only comedy show kicks off the holiday weekend Friday at Misawa Air Base, while the 1980s rock group Starship is to appear at Naval Air Facility Atsugi on Saturday.

Yokota’s Fourth of July salute, set for Monday and Tuesday, will come with a dose of Las Vegas-style flair. Dubbed “Viva Las Vegas,” the event is highlighted by a two-day Texas Hold ’Em tournament and American Pops Show with impersonators of Janet Jackson, Prince, Madonna and Garth Brooks.

The poker battle, the third at Yokota this year, begins with 160 players in the enlisted club on Monday. Show time is 3 p.m., with final instructions at 3:45 p.m. Play starts at 4 p.m.

A final table will be set up in Hangar 15 the next day. The grand prize is a trip for two to Orlando, Fla., with passes to Disney World. The runner-up receives a Vaio Computer, while an XBox 360 Bundle goes to the third-place entry.

“There’s been lot of buzz about the tournament,” said Jacqui Maldonado, Yokota Enlisted Club’s special events coordinator. “The prizes we have are increasing more and more every time and we’re bringing more people out for the tourney. It’s extremely exciting.”

This tournament is a prelude to an interservice tournament Yokota officials are planning for Labor Day weekend, she added. Details aren’t final yet but the event is expected to include players from other U.S. bases on the Kanto Plain.

While no money changes hands at the poker tables, some serious cash is up for grabs in a handful of other Yokota contests marking Independence Day.

They include a scavenger hunt, goofy-golf tournament, Memphis-style barbecue cook-off, kids water balloon toss and the annual “Leaky Kon-Tiki” cardboard boat race. Prizes range from $1,000 to $20 Services gift cards.

Judging begins at noon for the Colossal Cookie Challenge taking place Tuesday at Yokota’s Yujo Community Center. The top recipes will make it into the Pacific Air Forces Cookie Cookbook.

The doors to Hangar 15 open at 2 p.m. Tuesday for various food and festivities, culminating in a fireworks finale over the Yokota flight line.

Independence Day festivitiesYokota Air Base

4 p.m. Monday: Day 1 of Texas Hold ’Em Tournament at enlisted club. Open to Yokota officers and enlisted-club members only.

4-6 p.m. Monday: Scavenger-hunt list available at Yujo Recreation Center.

8 a.m. Tuesday: Goofy Golf at Yokota Par 3 Golf Course. First prize: $300.

9 a.m. Tuesday: “Leaky Kon-Tiki” cardboard boat construction at base natatorium. Races begin at noon. First prize: $400; Best Boat Construction Award: $100.

Noon Tuesday: Scavenger Hunt judging begins at Yujo Recreation Center (doors locked). First prize: $1,000.

Hangar 15 area events:

Doors open, 2 p.m. Kids Boardwalk featuring bouncing attractions, petting zoo, pony rides, go-carts, games and prizes.

Memphis-style barbecue cook-off judging, 3 p.m. First prize: $500.Kids Water Balloon Toss, 3:30 p.m. First prize: $300 per team in two divisions.Ribs and chicken dinner, 4 p.m.Clown acts and street performers show, 4:15 p.m.Final table of Texas Hold ’Em Tournament, 5 p.m.Vivace Performing Arts Program children’s show, 6 p.m.American Pops Show, 6:30 p.m.Blues Brothers Show, 7:40 p.m.Fireworks over Yokota flight line, 8:40 p.m. Show ends at 9 p.m.Atsugi Naval Air Facility

Saturday 3-9 p.m.: Open-base celebration titled “Celebrate America 2006” — the only open-base event on the Kanto Plain— including performances by local bands and at 5 p.m., the 1980s rock group Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas. Fireworks start at 7:45 p.m.

Sasebo Naval Base

Open-base celebration, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, including three live performance stages, ship tours, carnival events, games for kids and lots of food. Fireworks are to start at 8:45 p.m.

Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station

Celebration from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday at Penny Lake. Includes games for kids and blow-up amusements, local bands, a pie- and watermelon-eating contest with prizes and performances by Dan Chan the Magic Man and Kat the Acrobat. Fireworks at 8:30 p.m.

Camp Fuji

Events planned Tuesday:

The Harlem Globetrotters will appear in the Big Guns Gym at 12:45 p.m.A traditional July Fourth barbecue will be offered at 2:30 p.m. outside the Roadhouse Club. It’s free for Camp Fuji personnel; others will be charged a small fee.Three-on-three basketball tournaments with the Globetrotters will start at 4 p.m. in the Big Guns Gym. All shows are free. Contact Sgt. Todd at DSN 224-8356/8357 for more information.Camp Zama

Independence Day celebration Saturday at noon at Dewey Park featuring races, games, sports, music, contests, entertainment, food and fireworks. Call DSN 263-5712 for more information.

Misawa Air Base

Freedom Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the base collocated club. Barbecue chicken, potato salad, baked beans, pulled pork and cotton candy will be available. Games are to include bingo — compete for a Harley custom bike — and “apple on a string,” in which contestants try to eat an apple on a string while blindfolded with hands tied. Other contests include pie eating and limbo, along with several relay races, such as potato sack, three-legged and egg on a spoon. Most events are free. Call DSN 222-9512 for more information.

A fireworks display will at the base beach from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Beach parking is limited to pass holders. A shuttle bus will run from Rocky’s Roost parking lot and the North Area shoppette. Call DSN 226-9378 for more information.

Grissom Dining Facility will offer a special holiday meal on July 4 for all Misawa enlisted personnel, officers and their families. The menu includes strip loin steak, barbecued spare ribs and herbed baked chicken. Cost is a la carte. Holiday dining hours are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call DSN 226-4463 for more information.

A comedy show will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday in the Tohoku Ballroom at the club. Cost is $20 for non-members and free for club members. The show is open to all ranks at 8 p.m. but due to strong adult content, attendance is limited to those 18 and older. Call DSN 222-9512 for details.

Yokosuka Naval Base

An Independence Day celebration kicks off at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Berkey Field. Activities are to include a petting zoo, game booths, air toys, face-painting and tattoos, relay races and a chili cook-off. Floyd Van Laningham and his country rock band will play; fireworks will be at 8 p.m. In event of rain, only fireworks will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Berkey Field. Call DSN 241-4431 for more information.

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