K-Pop Contest, Health Clinics, Parades Make Changwon Festival a Hit

One of the largest and most versatile festivals in South Gyeongsang Province, dubbed the “Changwon Festival” in the city of the same name, ended on Sunday.

Inaugurated in 2007, the annual event has established itself as one of three major festivals of the southeastern city along with its cherry blossom festival in April and chrysanthemum festival in October.

The whole city was in a festive mood during the two-day event, which was packed with entertaining programs including a street parade and cultural performances.

On the first day, a number of song and dance contests and a concert with a magic show took place. On the sidelines of the main event, medical services in cooperation with local clinics and universities provided visitors with useful tips on improving their health.

They have offered the service every year as more Koreans develop an interest in adopting healthier lifestyles, and have received positive feedback about the event in previous years, according to an official with the city’s community clinic.

In the evening, following an opening ceremony attended by some 2,000 local residents and tourists, a street parade took place for two and a half hours from 5 p.m. with over 6,000 performers in 50 teams marching along the 1-km route.

This year’s festival was designed to show the city’s past, present and future, said Lee Mal-soon, a city official. Changwon will strive to revitalize the regional economy through its three major festivals and other events, she added.

Meanwhile, a K-pop contest that was staged on Sunday proved a huge hit, luring over 15,000 spectators. In its second year, it featured 15 teams selected through preliminary screenings in32 countries from an initial batch of 50,000 applicants.

Popular K-pop bands such as TVXQ, FT Island, Secret and MBLAQ supported the event by showing up and performing one or two songs.

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