The 2017 Korean Festival came to an end with much fanfare, drawing in 17,000 attendees.
By Anna Kim
The great 2017 Korean Festival was held in the Korean Community Center in Norcross last Saturday from 10a.m. through 11p.m.
In the past, this event was held at the Suwanee Town Center, but it’s been 3 years since the Atlanta Korean community hub became the home of this top-notch fest.
Having 71 indoor and outdoor venues boosted up a variety of extravaganza events to be carried out without a hitch, and the fest had a turnout of approximately 17,000 people who tirelessly rocked on for the day.
Organized by the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta (KAAGA), supported by 5 leading companies—Kia, Metro City Bank, Delta, Breakers, and Golden Stella—, the festival had the catchy theme, “Together as One!”
VIP guests took turns delivering their warmest regards to the Korean community to celebrate the big festival.
“We, as a collective, have overcome so many obstacles and so many nay-sayers to become an integral part of this nation. We are no longer foreigners in a distant land. We have created paths for our children, our communities, our businesses to not only succeed, but also thrive in hostile conditions,” said David Kim, candidate for US Congress. “We hope that this impressive experience lights a fire of passion in you to learn more and be involved in this community.”
As the programs were on schedule, the attendees hopped around to look on their favorite indoors and outdoors performances without being muddled. All areas were taken over with a variety of spectacular Korean attractions featuring traditional Korean dancing, TaeKownDo, K-Pop performances, Samulnori, traditional games, calligraphic works, Hanboks (Korean traditional attire), Ganggangsullae(outdoors circle dance performance), Ssireum(traditional wrestling sports) and more.
Hungry guests thronged to the Korean food stalls which were set up in the parking lot. An assortment of tasty treats such as Kimbap, Ddoekbokgi, Odaeng, Soondae, BBQ, fried dumpling and more were available for a reasonable price. All bottled waters and beverages were provided free of charge along with cudgel balloons and round regular balloons bearing the logo of the 2017 Korean festival. Admission to the event was also free. The commemorative T-shirts were sold out and the yummy Korean foods being sold in the 11 stalls gave out.
The participants relished abundant gifts and appreciated the Korean community for the generous hearts.
“This is the first time in a long time, because I participated in the festival when it was held in Suwanee a couple of years ago. It is sobering to realize that the fest has been growing more amazing, spectacular and inviting,” said Karris Norwin. “If my friends ever ask me next year, ‘Hey, are you going to the Korean Festival in Atlanta? I would confidently say, ‘You bet!”
We cannot leave out a big prize drawing on a big festival.
There were three prize drawings. The prizes were a camera, a laptop, a 50″ LCD TV, and a round-trip airline ticket to South Korea by Delta. The raffle ticket was just nominal fee and its reward was tremendous.
The Festival Committee is confident to say that this year’s Korean Festival resulted in a resounding success despite its hidden location and short promotion.
“We tried to prepare great programs for you all to enjoy and experience the Beauty of Korea, Taste of Korea, and Talent of Korea, breaking the walls in between generations and between national origins,” said Ki Sung, Bae, president of KAAGA. “We feel a rush of joy with the great result. I hope that the Korean festival has brought you an understanding of Korean culture and has served to draw close to Korean legacy. I hope that I can see you all again at the next festival.”
The attendees are enjoying Ganggangsullae.
Buchaechum is a traditional fan dance, usually performed by groups of female dancers.
Ssireum, a type of wrestling, needs two men to enter the ring and wrestle until one of their upper bodies touches the ground.
Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra.