Seoul City has kicked off a month-long festival along the Han River entitled “Hangang All-in (Mongttang) Summer Festival.” Eighty programs in 80 different colors have been designed for vacationers at 11 riverside parks along the river flowing through the capital city of Korea.
The exciting festival, now in its 5th year, has programs tailored for foodies, avid book readers, connoisseurs of movies, and music lovers. The organizers invite people to beat the summer heat at the riverside parks under the theme of “Rediscovering the Methods to Use Han River,” which is again divided into three categories to introduce the programs. Of the 80 programs, 32 are new ones and 55 are free of charge for people to attend, with 26 percent of the programs prepared by civilian art groups. The three themes are “Cool Han River” to include programs like water play, water sports and challenges; “Exciting Han River” to include performances, watching and passion; and “Together with Han River” to use nature and ecology around the river for leisure.
On the Banpo Han River side, there will be the Global Food Festival forum Aug. 13-15. Every Sunday food and drinks from all over the world will be available from 100 vans, and organizers said there will be glittering lights and water fountains aplenty.
Bands will play all kinds of music to help people forget about the scorching summer heat. Spaces under the bridges will be turned into a reading festival in the daytime and they will be converted to movie theaters at night. They will take place under the bridges of Cheonho, Cheongdam, Wonhyo and Seongsan all in Seoul.
The Zara Island International Jazz Festival will present romantic jazz melodies on the river, along with a “water fight fest,” a paper boat competition on the Han River (the only one in the whole of Korea), and a bicycle riding competition (without speed).
Like they did last year, five percent of admission fees collected at the civilian-organized events will be donated to invite the economically isolated people to experience the diverse cultural programs.
For the first time this year, the highlight period (Aug. 1-15) will be arranged to host around 70 percent of the programs so that people can enjoy most of the interesting programs in a short period, including the paper boat sailing competition, fire dance festival, and the global food festival.
Huge international events scheduled to be held in the country will also be promoted during the festival, including the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 2017-2018 Korea and Britain Exchange Year. The 2017 PyeongChang Village will be held in Yeouido, Seoul, to give people a taste of the international sports events to be held during the upcoming Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, such as cross country skiing and ski jump.
The 2017 Hangang Forum scheduled for July 21 is slated to take up such subjects as the cultural use of both the Han and Thames rivers in connection with this year being the 2017-18 Korea and Britain Exchange Year.
Seoul City designated 17 programs as “must attend” for the 2017 Hangang All-in Summer Festival.
They are the Paper Boat Competition; Water Fight Festival; Bicycle Riding; Cinema festival under the Han River Bridges; A Summer Night Jazz; Fire Dancing Festival; Old Reading Room Festival under the Bridges; Summer Camp Scene; Night Walk 42 K; Food Vans 100; Water Sports, an Integrated Sports Chapter; 2018 PyeongChang Village; Heart Beat Festival; Jamsu Bridge Vacation; Sounds Parade; Water War; Global Food Festival; and Hangang Man Carriage (Rickshaw) Tour.