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Beyond the Music at the Cheonan World Dance Festival
Oct 18, 2019

There’s so much going on at the festival beyond dancing! Sprinkled throughout the entire festival venue there are so many attractions and activities from VR experiences, crafts, and shopping to art displays, caricature artists and face painting. With so much to do, see, learn, and buy, it’s apparent that the festival organizers keep people’s varying interests and all age groups in mind. And of course, any time you get hungry a variety of food is easily accessible.

Two main sections of the festival, the agricultural market and local vendors, allow for individuals and businesses alike to showcase their goods.

Agriculture Center

One of the biggest exhibits at the festival is the agricultural market, which is designed to showcase much of what is grown and produced in and around Cheonan. The agricultural market tents tend to appeal to the older Korean audience. But because it is filled with such tradition and many interesting and even strange products, it definitely makes for a fun walk-through for foreigners. Also, this area is filled with tents passing out free samples. Who can pass that up especially when it’s fresh cheese and yogurt made from local dairy farms and varying local growers passing out fresh fruit? One of the biggest tents has a gorgeous array of different plants, flowers, succulents, and bonsai trees for sale.  In the middle of the agricultural section, many events are held such as cooking classes, beating rice cake with a mallet, and family dance shows. These are fun for looking onto or better yet to participate in if you’re feeling confident in your Korean skills and want to impress some locals.

Local Vendors

The local vendors’ area definitely appeals to a much younger demographic. Most of these vendors come from all over Cheonan and surrounding areas and it is apparent how much passion many have put into their work. Some of the vendors represented at this year’s festival came from Seonghwan, Gongju, and even from the underground shopping area in front of Cheonan station. It is incredible to see the variety of handcrafted items made by these vendors. There are countless stalls selling homemade and handcrafted goods each with their own style and expression. These goods include ceramics, jewelry, clothes, bags, wallets, dolls, candles, soaps, skin and beauty products and so much more. There are also a few vendors selling goodies to further spoil your dog or cat from toys and food bowls to clothes! Just like with the rest of the festival there are constantly events and activities happening to keep guests entertained. In the middle of all the vendors’ tents, there is a line of people waiting to spin a wheel. Prizes vary but by far the most entertaining was watching as a lady walked away with a 10kg bag of rice!

Health Center

You don’t have to live in Korea long to realize how highly Korean’s prioritize health and safety. So it isn’t out of character for a festival to dedicate an entire section of tents for health. The health zone is designed to serve several purposes. One purpose is to promote health education. This is done through free activities such as CPR lessons, dental checkups, eye tests and even a place that checks your blood pressure. There even is a tent in which you can learn helpful yoga poses and stretches to improve your posture and overall physical and mental well-being. This section also has several tents selling health related products. The massage chairs are free to use by anyone but are most popular amongst the Korean ajummas.

Kids Zone

If you’re worried about boring your kids while trying to enjoy a full day of music and dance, stress not. Remember Korea has a very children-centered culture. There is an entire kids zone dedicated to families and their young children. There are big inflatable obstacle courses, ride on cars for toddlers, a giant bubble pool with big bubble wands, hula hoops and tons of games and crafts. The coolest thing from a foreigner perspective is playing the Korean traditional games such as Tuho, Yunnori, top-spinning (by whipping a top with a rope to keep it going), and more. The coolest attraction in this section is a very tall traditional-style swing with a wooden seat attached by long ropes.

There’s so much going on you will definitely get sensory overload in a great way. With such a variety of areas and activities every attendee gets to customize his or her visit and each will leave having created their own unique experience.