34th annual Okinawan Festival canceled ahead of Hurricane Lester

Published: Sep. 1, 2016 at 1:22 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 2, 2016 at 2:21 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Organizers made the call Wednesday night to cancel the 34th annual Okinawan Festival that was slated for this weekend.

The decision to call off the annual event was based on the latest information from the National Weather Service on how Hurricane Lester is tracking.

"Of course there is a lot of stuff we have to talk about. For instance, we do presale of tickets so we have to refund everybody.  And we've already have bought a lot of goods. We might have to look at ways to unload those goods, maybe mini fairs or something like that," said Vince Watabu, Chair of the Hawaii United Okinawan Association.

"It's really unfortunate, but our first priority is the safety of everybody," said Tom Yamamoto, president of the association.

Organizers say the festival won't be rescheduled for a later date. No word yet on when refunds will be issued.

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