SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni will make good on its pledge to host the Japanese public for food and entertainment this year after the annual Friendship Day was canceled in the wake of the March 11 earthquake, base officials said Thursday.

The base will open its gates Aug. 27 for Summer Music Festival, base spokesman Capt. Lawton King said. The event will be held at the golf course and will feature live music, entertainers, a kids play area, static aircraft and food booths.

Progressive rock band Airiel will headline the event, which runs from 2-8 p.m.

“This is the base’s effort to host our hosts for a day and to thank them for their support and cooperation,” King said.

Friendship Day has been canceled or postponed only three times since its inception in 1973, King said. It is one of the largest civilian events held at U.S. bases in the region and drew 265,000 visitors last year.

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