The Seoul of the South

2016 Korean Festival

애틀랜타 코리안 페스티벌에 여러분을 초대합니다

​As summer winds down, this means that it's time in Gwinnett for a number of Asian American festivals promoting the culture, music, and food of several of our diverse ethnic communities.

This upcoming weekend will be the first of these large festivals at the Infinite Energy Center in the form of JapanFest. Organized and led by the Japan America Society of Georgia, this is the largest festival celebrating the longtime history and friendship between the United States and Japan. There is something for everyone at this two day event with booths and displays covering martial arts, anime, traditional arts and crafts, and of course food. My personal favorite includes the food court arranged in the grand ballroom with tasty bits from a variety of local area hot spots. There is also a procession of food trucks outside the venue representing this growing segment of the Atlanta food scene with offerings ranging from yakitori skewers to delicious rice bowls.

The second of these festivals in the annual Korean Festival, held on the grounds of the Korean American Association of Greater Atlanta in Norcross. This annual event has expanded to three days worth of sights and sounds to provide guests with a range of exposure to Korean sport demonstrations including Ssireum, a traditional wrestling form recognized as the national sport of Korea, as well as taekwondo, the very popular Korean martial art form. Over the course of this free day event, over 100,000 attendees are expected to visit and experience a range of events including a K-Pop dance contest, karaoke, a cooking competition and a Miss Korea beauty pageant.

Additional highlights of this year's Korean Festival include a generous giveaway for two round trip tickets to Korea, courtesy of Korean Airlines. There will also be a special screening of a powerful Korean film, "Ode to My Father," at 3pm on September 17. This award winning film is sure to touch every member of the audience as it takes you through an emotional ride of modern Korean history.

The last day of the festival will feature a music festival highlighted by a free concert provided by the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra.

These two excellent events are a wonderful way to experience these cultures right here in Gwinnett. There is something for all groups and all ages.