An Evening at the Daikin Festival!!!
In my home town of Decatur Alabama, on Friday of Memorial Day weekend a local Japanese company, Daikin, will host a Japanese-esque festival named the Daikin Festival. This festival blends cultures, shows off the company products, and shows how the company will contribute to our Southern River City. The event has been going on for twenty years straight and has gathered many people to area. The farthest that attendants have traveled from, besides Japan, include Texas, Illinois, North Carolina, and Florida (I gathered this from socializing with attendees). Some attendants who have traveled to Japan or embarked more on the Japanese culture will show in kimonos and wooden sandals.
*A bit about Daikin as an industry.
Daikin started in 1924 by producing mainly aircraft radiator tubes and other products. It is a global company based in Japan and has many plants in roughly six or more continents. They focus on air conditioning and refrigeration, fluorochemical, electronics, self defense, and oil hydraulic manufacturing. To find out more please visit: http://www.daikin.com/index.html
*The before the Festival begins.
A big line filled with hungry and excited people begin to settle as the police direct the line’s traffic. “No handbags or backpacks were allowed and diaper bags were checked before entering,” the police would warn as the line was being directed.
While waiting at twenty minutes before the festivities start, in the sky above leap two skydivers. One has a white parachute and the other a red parachute. People including myself watched with amazement as the performers soared throughout the sky. Towards the end of their fall they swooped around the crowd enough to show off their chutes. The diver who had the red chute was wearing the Daikin flag behind his back. The flag was showcased like a plane streamer, but to the children who were fascinated by this called it a cape. People were biting their nails as the divers had to glide over some power lines. The professional sky divers did make it over the crossing and were safe, Bravo!!!
*The Festival begins!!!
When the line moved, people were sorted through before entering the fairgrounds. As the police officers checked diaper bags, many who came on time and early were given a happi coat as a gift.
Everyone who entered to participate at anytime during the festival got a ticket sheet.The tickets have a certain amount and use as follows: three for food, three for drinks, the name of the event, and two tickets to participate in a raffle. The raffle had many meal & leisure gift cards, and a few Daikin brand portable dehumidifiers.
As you enter the place, the festival is on just a typically asphalt/gravel fair ground with blue canopies as some were walled with white tarp. Hot air balloons are being set up in the background grass area for rides. At the center of the festival is a taiko drum stand with an area given for people of any age to join in Japanese festive. The taiko drummers will teach the public dances that they will learn on the spot. Noticeably near the taiko stage is the live entertainment stage. This is where announcements are made, raffle and company news is delivered, and where live bands play. Neighboring the big stage on are company information tents. On the right is the company product information with some industry partners to better explain the importance of how Daikin products and their production process. On the left is community growth information as well as a Japanese calligraphy station. Beside the calligraphy station is an area that showcases the local Morgan County high school area essay winners that won a summer home stay experience in Japan and an art contest. Surrounding the rest of the fairground is varieties of food & drink tents, inflatables and face painting for the kids, and two dining area to seat down and eat.
*Eating and Drinking at the Festival.
The food that was there are hamburgers, hot dogs, Little Caesars Pizza, a chicken tender on a kabob tooth pick, Jambalaya, and Yakisoba with a Japanese like barbecue sauce if you want it on your Yakisoba. At the drink tent, the drink variety were water and Pepsi products (more likely catered from the local Pepsi packaging plant in Decatur).
However there did exist a community drink variety that requires no meal ticket. This was Gatorade at the dining area and punch from one of the company product showcase tents. Also there were some foods that require no meal ticket as listed: cotton candy, popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, and half pint cup ice cream.
*The Hot Air Balloons.
At the far corner of the fair ground, and in full set up in the middle of this event, are the hot air balloons. These will fly during Saturday afternoon during the Weekend Jubilee at Point Mallard. The dozens of balloons are here to give rides for the public before the big trip around the river area. Here and while socializing with others at the festival I learned that many traveled from a far to attend this festival either for leaser or for working for Daikin itself.
Each year this comes it has always been a highlight of May as the summer will soon begin as this town can get some culture.
I can’t wait for the next festival there so much fun!!!
Here are picture I unprofessionally have taken.
The Taiko Stage
The main stage
A live performance band
(I never thought I would ever see a live performance of the Runaway 5 & Venus, lol.)
The calligraphy tent & food origin’s sign
(When I mentioned anime to the painter, he really wanted to talk but couldn’t due to the non-stop rush.)
The Homestay & Art Contest Tent
The hot air balloons
The free grabs
These photos of the festival were taken by a local cos-play who goes by Missy Yamashita.
Thank you for letting me use them:
This was written for leaser and was not commissioned or paid for by Daikin.
This is not written to harm Daikin’s reputation.
If Daikin wishes to take down or wish to alter this post I will do so.