YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — For many around base, Yokota’s annual Japanese-American Friendship Festival signifies the peak of summer in Japan.

The 56th festival is set to take place Saturday and Sunday beside the base’s runway and in and around Hangar 15.

Officials expect more than 200 booths for food, games and demonstrations. Entertainment ranges from the 3rd annual Strongman Challenge at noon Sunday to concerts and dance competitions.

Live performances are planned throughout the two days on indoor and outdoor stages. The U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia, Yokota’s Tanabata Dancers and Samurai taiko team are scheduled to perform in the hangar.

Japanese tribute bands for the Eagles, Grand Funk Railroad and various decades are set to make appearances. Other musical genres represented will include rock, pop, R&B, ska, gospel, blues and Latin music.

About 110,000 people attended the festivities in 2005.

Base officials said various jet fighters and cargo aircraft from the U.S. military and Japanese Air Self-Defense Force will be on static display between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. In previous years the planes included the B-52 Stratofortress, C-130 Hercules, C-21A Learjet, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, KC-135 Stratotanker, MC-130P Combat Shadow, UH-1N Huey and UH-60. Aircraft demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conclusion of the festival Sunday will be marked by a fireworks display at 8:30 p.m.

The Supply Gate opens for the festival from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for base guests. Bicycle parking will be available nearby. Parking for vehicles and motorcycles will not be provided. Guests must bring photo IDs and bags will be inspected at the gate. Smoking won’t be permitted at the event and hazardous objects, pets, large baggage, glass bottles, alcohol and coolers are prohibited.

Schedule of events


9 a.m.: Gates open; aircraft on static display

10 a.m.: Remarks by Col. Scott Goodwin, Yokota commander; Yokota Samurai Taiko/Hachioji Jimba Daiko; Max Blues (blues and rock); Yokota aircrafts demo

11 a.m.: PACAF Band’s Pacific Trends; Moha Garden (pop)

Noon: Ben’s pop Club (pop)

1 p.m.: E. Skalators (ska); Hot-L (rock)

2 p.m.: Karate Demonstration; Dava (rock)

3 p.m.: Fussa-ko So-ran (So-ran Dance); Goku (Eagles Tribute)

4 p.m.: Fussa.TV Dance/Vocal Competition; Electric Warrior (hard rock)

5 p.m.: Fuger (rock)

6 p.m.: babamania (rock)

7 p.m.: Angel Kids (kids dance); Fuzzy Control (rock)

9 p.m.: Gates close


9 a.m.: Gates Open; aircraft on static display; Be Bop Strawberry (J-pop)

10 a.m.: Joy So-ran (So-ran Dance); Momento Sonus (rock); Yokota aircrafts demo

11 a.m.: Jimmy & Kings Men (1950s rock); Sleep Bandits (rock)

Noon: Cats-Ai (kids dance); Yokota Strongman Challenge

1 p.m.: Tanabata Dancers (Bon-Odori)

2 p.m.: Gypsy groove (Latin)

3 p.m.: Image Showcase (R&B); Zen (rock)

4 p.m.: Okinawa Taiko (Okinawa drums); Back City rockers (Grand Funk Railroad tribute)

5 p.m.: Gospel Connections (choir); Kabukimono (1980s rock tribute)

6 p.m.: Yokota Samurai Taiko; Raiden (hard rock)

7 p.m.: Fragile (Ultimate Fusion concert with Kozo Suganuma); PACAF Band

8:20 p.m.: National anthems

8:30 p.m.: Fireworks display

9 p.m.: Gates close

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now