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Yokosuka Naval Base is hosting one of its largest festivals Sunday, providing food, games and a great place to watch fireworks in conjunction with Yokosuka City’s summer festival.

Friendship Day is an annual summer event for which the base opens its gates — well, one gate — to local residents. Most bases have them; Yokosuka’s is scheduled in cooperation with the city government to provide a vantage point for the city’s fireworks display.

The Mikasa Park gate will open at 10 a.m. and thousands of people are expected to visit food and game booths representing some 60 base organizations. The day provides some base organizations with their biggest fund-raiser of the year.

Additional offerings include a car show and tours of the USS John McCain.

This is the 28th year the base has held a friendship day; it’s one of the year’s three biggest festivals, said Leah Dillingham, base recreation director. The other two are in the spring, to celebrate cherry blossoms, and a fall festival with a parade with Mikoshi, portable shrines carried by parade participants. The fireworks are the main event for this festival.

“It’s a gorgeous display,” Dillingham said.

The gate will close for entry at 8 p.m., she said; visitors will be ushered out starting at about 8:30 p.m., with the gate being closed at 10 p.m.


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