Tinsel Town delivers snow, festivities to Kadena

A woman pushes a child on a snow sled during the 18th Wing Tinsel Town event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 14, 2019. Other events and games included a rock climbing wall, food trucks, and more. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt)
A woman pushes a child on a snow sled during the 18th Wing Tinsel Town event at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Dec. 14, 2019. Other events and games included a rock climbing wall, food trucks, and more. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt)

Tinsel Town delivers snow, festivities to Kadena

by Senior Airman Matthew Seefeldt
Kadena Air Base

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- It doesn’t normally snow in Okinawa, but once a year Tinsel Town brings the magic of the holiday season to Kadena Air Base.

Tinsel Town, held this year, is an annual event in which the local community and service members get together and share the holiday spirit with music, food, theme park-style rides, and even snow.

“We select food vendors, book artists, [close the roads], [provide] the layout, kiddy land, [and coordinate] production for the event,” said Schuiler Crowder, 18th Force Support Squadron special events coordinator. “We do all of this because we have a great team.”

Hanako Okuma, a Tinsel Town visitor, has enjoyed multiple visits to the base.

“I saw snow with my children, cheered for my son when he went rock climbing, and my younger son enjoyed jumping on the trampoline,” she said.

Okuma’s son, Seijuro, participated in many of the Tinsel Town festivities.

“I liked rock climbing,” he said. “I can’t usually climb mountains, but I enjoyed doing it and I had fun.”

Nikoleta Day, 18th Force Support Squadron director of the Schilling community center, oversees base-wide events like Tinsel Town.

“It’s so important to have a sense of community when you are away from your family. We try to bring the folks that are stationed here a sense of home,” she said. “Being able to see everyone de-stress and have a good time, it really makes it all worth it.”

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