By Jia H Jung, California Local News Fellow
Thousands of people filled The Presidio on Saturday to partake in the fifth annual Bay Area Chuseok Festival.
The mid-autumn harvest celebrations, coordinated by the Korean Center, Inc. since 2019, have become the largest public event showcasing Korean culture in Northern California.
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In spectacular weather with the Golden Gate Bridge and bay sparkling in the background, families, friends, passerby, veterans in uniform, and VIPs such as Yoon Sang-soo, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco strolled the grounds to peruse 15 different maker stalls and have their pick of food and drink from 20 different vendors.
Roasting marshmallows with Craftivity, a vendor at the event. Video Credit: Jia H. Jung
Local community organizations tabling at informational booths included Presidio Trust, King Sejong Institute, API Legal Outreach, APA Family Support Services, Korean Community Center of the East Bay, CARE Registry (UCSF), the Bay Area chapter of Women Cross DMZ/Korea Peace Now!, Ascend Norcal, Asian Women’s Shelter, Be the Match, Education for Social Justice Foundation, Bay Area Asian Deaf Association, Gum Moon Women’s Residence, Asian American Curriculum Project, and the region’s Social Security Administration.
“Spring In My Hometown,” by the Silicon Valley Children’s Choir. Video Credit: Jia H. Jung
Family-friendly offerings included Korean lawn games, the Wishes to the Chuseok Moon art installation, a hanbok clothing photo booth, and stations for chopstick craft and paper lotus lantern making.
Urisawe, making heads spin with traditional drumming and music. Video Credit: Jia H. Jung
The main stage featured performances by traditional and modern dancers and musicians, senior’s and children’s choruses.
The headliner, the Art Taekwondo group visiting from Seoul, South Korea for the event, wowed the crowd with an impressive martial arts and choreography show. The performance, which occurred once in the morning and later in the afternoon to cap off the entertainment lineup, played out the story of the alliance between the U.S. and Korea in its 70th year.
Martial arts and modern choreography performance by Seoul-based Art Taekwondo at the Chuseok festival, acting out the origin of the 70-year alliance between the U.S. and Korea.
The festival, growing every year, was another energetic kickoff to the fall season on this year of the Black Rabbit, a symbol of fertility that harmonizes with Chuseok’s gratitude and wishes for abundance in all aspects of life.
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