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Updated: June 3, 2019
The Akishima Whale Festival has been taking place since 1961, when a 1.6 million-year-old whale fossil was discovered in the city. The event is held over two days in August, with a fireworks display called the Dream Fireworks (Yume Hanabi) on the first night. The viewing area is very close to the launch area, so you can feel the force of the fireworks as they shoot up into the sky.
One of many other events at the festival is a parade, starting at Akishima Station's South Exit. Local groups put on creative performances, and there's a parade float shaped like an enormous whale. At the nearby Showa Park Athletics Sports Ground, you can enjoy food, drink, and stage shows.