In the past, there’s always been some reason why I couldn’t get to the Korean Festival in Kingston. This year the way things panned out I could only manage to spend an hour there over lunchtime, but it’s a fun day out.
A tip: there are two reasons not to go there by car. (1) In the streets near the Fairfield recreation ground only residents’ parking permit holders are allowed to park on a Saturday. You have to park about half a mile away from the ground to get to an area where non-residents can park. (2) A couple of the food stalls sell soju and makkolli, and you wouldn’t want to stint, would you?
Here are some of my snaps from the day:
Every year the festival starts with a parade from the war veterans, helping to keep alive the memory of the “Forgotten War”.
The Haenam food tent reminded us that the festival was being held on the 54th anniversary of the liberation of Korea from Japan at the end of the Pacific War. They were also pushing the merits of their sweet potatoes and laver.
There aren’t many restaurants that do proper charcoal barbeques in New Malden, but the open air festival gave everyone the opportunity to grill the meats as nature intended.
As well as serving the grilled meats, these bunny girls had soju and makkolli on offer.
This samulnori group started off the varied entertainments. They were followed by fan dancers, court dancers, shaman dancers, drum dancers, just about any dance you can think of.
The photographers were getting in the way wherever you looked. The professionals crouched in front of and beside the stage. And everyone lined up (below right) to take photos of the dancers when they posed at the end of their set.
There were slides to keep the youngest visitors content…
(this one was a giant pink inflatable stegosaurus)
…and there were visitors of every age from east and west enjoying the fun.
Thankfully, the weather stayed fine this time. Roll on next year.
The Kingston Korean Festival was held at the Fairfield Recreation Ground, Kingston, on 15 August 2009