City Life + Arts

Korean Festival breaks personal attendance record

The aromas of Korean cuisine mixed in the air while people of all ages and backgrounds came together in celebration.

On Saturday, the Korean American Society of Houston presented the sixth annual Korean Festival at Discovery Green. Over 20,000 people attended, making it the most successful turnout the festival has had so far.

This year’s K-Fest was themed “Connect with Korea” in honor of Houston’s first direct flight to Korea. The goals of the festival were to raise awareness of Korean culture, strengthen relationships between the Korean community and the City of Houston and to break the generational gap between first and second generation Koreans.

K-fest had a place for everyone. A Kid’s Corner had rice cakes for kids to munch on as they got their faces painted. Plenty of authentic Korean food was sold by local Houston vendors including Chilantro Korean BBQ truck and Kim Chi’s Korean Café. A row of tents sold t-shirts, accessories and make-up.

The festival has come a lot way from its first year in a Houston Community College parking lot. Some of this year’s sponsors included Hyundai, Korean Air, Samsung, AT&T and the Houston Rockets. There was also a raffle for two roundtrip tickets to Korea from Korean Air.

“We had a lot more sponsors this year, the weather was on our side and we had much more media coverage, ”said Ben Shin, UH alumnus and running organizer of K-fest for the fifth year in a row.

Festival goer Anna Rodriguez heard word of K-Fest on the local news that Saturday morning. It was her and her family’s first time attending the festival.

“Oh, I will be coming back next year,” Rodriguez said.

The schedule for the K-fest was nonstop; starting at 10 a.m., the main stage was graced with traditional Korean dancers and Tae Kwon Do performances. There was even a kimchi eating contest. The headliner for the festival was YouTube sensation and hip-hop artist DANakaDAN.

K-Fest this year was one step towards encouraging the festival to flourish and the hopes are high for the years to come.

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