Bibimbap. K-pop Kim Tae-Woo.
Those words created one of two reactions from you: confused you or made you drool. Both the vegetable and rice mix (bibimmbap) and K-pop superstar can be found at O‘ahu’s annual Korean Festival. Except, starting with the 2013 fest, there’ll be double the festivity fun.
For more than a decade, the festival had been just one weekend day in July. Now it will be two days of delicious Korean food, culture and entertainment. Saturday will be filled with live entertainment, dances, a talent show and – of course – a kim chee-eating contest. Things will wrap up with K-pop singer Kim Tae-woo, who used to be part of a popular boy band called g.o.d.
According to the organization hosting the event, 2013 marks the 110th anniversary of Korean immigration to the United States. Koreans arrived to the islands during the early 1900s to work in the sugar cane fields. Within two years of their arrival to Hawai‘i, the Korean population boomed to about 7,000!
Every year, festival goers look forward to watching the Korean cooking show, choco-eating pie contest (small snack of marshmallow and cake) and the kim-chee eating contest (spicy fermented cabbage concoction). As much as I love both of those foods, I would not attempt my luck at an eating contest for fear I’d barf – quickly turning childhood favorites into foes.
KOREAN FESTIVAL / Second weekend in July / Kapi‘olani Park from 4 to 9 p.m./ www.koreanfestivalhi.com
Photo Courtesy: Korean Festival Twitter
July 12th, 2013