October 20, 2002: "Country Gold, the Day of Promise"
In a drizzling, we four head to south Aso highland.
Today, we will join "Country Gold, the Day of Promise" together with our close family Mr. & Mrs. Yamada.
We parked the car and walk up to the site with carrying the camping set.

Included are foldable chair, lunch box, and simple tent.
Almost all cars have carried those groups.
We will head to the big building.

The gate reads "Country Gold, the Day of Promise."
This is Green Pia South Aso Aspecta Park.
A country music festival will be held here today.

This is the first time for us in two decades. We visited Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn when we lived in Chicago for two years.
Hot balloons welcomed us.
We soon lined up to "Become birds."

When one passenger gets outs, next passenger will get in. To keep the weight of the gondola is a must, they said.
Looking up the balloon on the gondola. The color is very beautiful. Hot air lifts the tethered balloon up to some ten meters.
Wow, I am a bird!
literally "Bird-Eye" view of the stage is under my sight.
I could enjoy a short time in-the-air-trip.
I looked around the site. Many food stands and souvenir stalls are in the still drizzling rain.
A prairie schooner from the West is a restaurant that serves American steak. I am sorry that the rain doesn't make me to try it.
Cute western-style girls sell beer and wine.
Hi! Yes, Hi!
I suppose he was a Japanese.
Lovely western dressed girl and her father dances in the rain.

Their costumes, except my husband leftmost, are very good for the atmosphere.
Two westerns called at me. They are "Cow boys" from Kyoto. They will stay together with us in Yamada's home tonight.
Exactly at noon, the Country Gold Festa started.

Cow boys came in on the horse back hoisting the flags of the sponsors.
The rain was over and we could enjoy the music.
"Let's Boot Dancin'" team dance in the beautiful costume.Mouse-on to enlarge.
The audience enjoy the Festa in the rain.
On the 14th Festa, Mr. Charley Nagatani in Kumamoto called real artists from American group, Eddy Raven, EXILE, Heather Myles, and Roland White Band.

Filming the performances is strictly forbidden here. Many guests made few words, such as American consul in Fukuoka and the governor of Kumamoto prefecture.
The couple, my close friends, joins the festival every year and makes many good friends.
Charley Nagatani (center) got honorary memberships from 33 states in the USA. He visits Nashville and performs regularly at Grand Ole Opry each year.
After the festival, we six lodged in my friend's wonderful house and enjoyed good foods and chatting.

Today, we fully enjoyed American air.