Korean Festival invites all in community to attend

SUWANEE -- Have you ever tried kimchi, pibimbob or kimbop? Or tried listening to traditional Korean music, watched taekwondo or observed a Korean wedding? You can do all this and more at the third annual Korean Festival in Suwanee's Town Center Park on Saturday and Sunday.

If you go

• What: Third annual Korean Festival

• When: Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday

• Where: Suwanee Town Center Park, 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee

• For more information: visit www.suwanee.com or call 404-547-1859

"This is the most dynamic festival in the area," said Kevin Kim of Atlanta Radio Korea, one of the organizers of the event. "All of the other festival are traditional -- they have booths and just play something. We have two stages of performers and Korean field games for everyone to participate in."

The idea behind the field games is to get the crowd involved. Kim said that if people don't want to watch the performers, they can play a game to have fun.

Another reason this festival is not quite like the rest are the food performances, which aren't exactly what you would expect. They are creating two massive meals for 500 people to eat. The first is a dish called pibimbob, traditional Korean food of mixed rice, that will be served in a massive bowl for people to eat from. The other dish is kimbop, a seaweed wrapped roll. A group of 20 people will cook, build and wrap a 16-foot roll for the audience. Again, this is for everyone to eat.

On both days, there will be contests for the public to participate in from many different categories: dance, song, playing band, cooking kimchi, children's painting, a ladies' quiz and children's taekwondo. All first-place winners will take home a prize ranging from $1,000 to a 50-inch LG Plasma TV.

This is a festival celebrating all things Korean, but the organizers were to emphasis that the entire community is invited to join the festival.

"The first two years, it was only the Korean community at the festival," Kim said. "We want to tell all of our neighbors to come out."

The entire event will be in English and Korean, so everyone understands what is going on around them.

"The main purpose for this festival is to bridge the gap between Koreans and Americans," he said. "This will be a good chance to let non-Korean people learn about our culture."