Hi Seoul Festival hopes to set a new standard this summer
Festival organizers hope this year will be a turning point, and that Hi Seoul will prove itself to be a well-grounded, sustainable event filled with innovative, fun programs. It’s expanded to encompass all four seasons for the first time this year, and the summer section is taking place down by Hangang, or the Han River.
This weekend, the First Hangang Birdman Contest will kick off the Hi Seoul Summer Festival. At the Yeouido Special Airstrips, built specifically for the competition, 150 teams will attempt to fly all the way across the Han River using flying devices of their own creation. Organizers say this is the first-ever flying competition using non-power-driven machines in Korea.
Prizes are 1 million won ($980) for whoever makes it farthest from the three-meter (10-foot) board, and 2 million won for the eight-meter board. Anyone who can make it all the way across the river wins a whopping 100 million won.
For water sports fans, or just people looking to cool off in the river, there is the Hangang Canoe Festival. From this Saturday to Aug. 15, anybody can learn to canoe in the Yeouido area under the Mapo Bridge. From Aug. 16 to 17, a dragon boat and canoe race tournament will wrap up events. Organizers say about 350 teams will compete for the top spot, with the winning team taking home prizes worth up to 300,000 won.
The Hi Seoul Summer Festival runs from this Saturday, Aug. 9, to Aug. 17. Most events are free. For details, check out www.hiseoulfest.org (available in Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese), or call the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture at (02) 774-4053 x1119.
By Kim Hyung-eun Staff Reporter [email@example.com]