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DECATUR, Ala. – Daikin America’s Japanese celebration returns for the 25th year bringing with it a night of family-friendly fun and an incredible cultural experience for the city of Decatur.

The annual Daikin Festival offers festivalgoers of all ages an opportunity to experience Japanese culture through live music, games, exhibits and Asian-inspired food. The free event is set for Friday, May 24, 2019, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Decatur.

This year’s silver anniversary of the Daikin Festival will highlight favorite happenings from previous years plus new activities. The first 5,000 guests who enter without a Happi coat will get one they can wear and keep. Everyone who already owns a Happi Coat is encouraged to wear his or hers to the festival and participate in the festival in traditional Japanese style.

To showcase Japanese culture, there will be tents where festival goers can participate in learning the art of Japanese calligraphy and have their name written in Kanji to take home as a souvenir.

A favorite year after year is the performances by the Daikin Taiko Drum Team. Returning again this year will be Lee Benoit and the Bayou Stompers from New Orleans and there will be traditional Japanese folk music and the Bon Dances, which everyone is encouraged to participate.

Along with traditional festival food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, barbeque sandwiches, pizza, ice cream and soft drinks, festivalgoers are treated to Cajun jambalaya and Japanese Yakisoba, a stir-fried mix of noodles, cabbage, carrots and beef. All food and drinks are free of charge.

There will be a kids’ zone with inflatables, face painting and fun games with prizes and free tethered hot-air balloon rides will be offered, weather permitting. There will be door prizes given away throughout the evening, with an exciting grand prize given away at 8:45 p.m. The festivities conclude with a surprise finale at the end of the evening.

Festivalgoers also have the opportunity to learn more about Daikin America from various displays of product exhibits. Other displays include information on the Daikin Homestay Program, a program where area students and teachers travel to Japan for a ten-day stay in the homes of Daikin employees.

In addition to free parking around the fairgrounds, free round-trip shuttle service will be provided to the fairgrounds from Decatur Mall and Austin Jr. High. For safety and security purposes, no bags, backpacks, large purses, wagons or strollers will be allowed.