The 2018 Houston Korean Festival, hosted at Discovery Green on Saturday, Oct. 13, was an immersive celebration of Korean heritage. The festival has delivered an engaging cultural experience for an entire decade, boasting tens of thousands of visitors and promoting local Korean community organizations like the Korean American Women’s Association and the Korean Culture Learning Center. Discovery Green served as the perfect venue for such a massive event, with plenty of family-friendly space and amenities. The festival catered to visitors of all ages and promised an authentic, eye-opening adventure.
On the main stage of Discovery Green, the festival hosted a wide range of performances that traversed many different aspects of Korean entertainment. Ranging from traditional Korean folk music to live taekwondo routines, performances by over a dozen groups dazzled the audience and showcased Korea’s rich diversity of artistic expression. The most electrifying performances were the Korean pop dance routines, indicated by the uproarious excitement of loyal fans of popular K-pop bands such as BTS, BLACKPINK and GOT7. Fans in the crowd enthusiastically sang and danced along to their favorite songs as the onstage dance group performed well-known choreography taken from K-pop music videos. The crowd was incredibly lively during this presentation of the Korean music phenomenon that some fans might say is taking over the world.
With 20 different food vendors onsite, there were plenty of opportunities to taste both traditional and fusion Korean dishes. Despite a ticket-based payment system that caused lines to be quite long, the food portion of the festival ran relatively smoothly. The food court boasted well-known Korean establishments such as The Teahouse Tapioca & Tea and fusion vendors like Coreanos and Oh My Gogi! From traditional Korean comfort dishes like bulgogi and toppoki to hybrid fares like sushi burritos and kimchi quesadillas, eating at the festival was an immensely indulgent and pleasurable experience. Aside from food vendors, other vendors included proprietors of Korean fashion, beauty and skincare and other cultural souvenirs. There were also opportunities for visitors to have hands-on experience with other cultural attractions, such as mini-lessons on traditional Korean drumming.
The Houston Korean Festival was successful in engaging visitors with intriguing presentations of Korean culture that foster appreciation and solidarity. The event is expected to return next year in early October.