By Mary O’KEEFE
The Second Korean Cultural Festival will take place Saturday at La Cañada Memorial Park.
The Korean American Federation of North Los Angeles is inviting the community to the event that is sponsored by the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles, the Korean Cultural Center in Los Angeles and the Overseas Korean Foundation.
The organizers had co-hosted the Korean-Armenian Cultural Festival for three consecutive years until last year when the Armenian Community focused more on the Centennial Commemoration events of the Armenian Genocide.
“KAFNLA also supported those events but wanted to host a cultural festival showcasing Korean culture as well,” said KAFNLA President Sung ll Lee, who is also the Festival director, and responded to an email interview.
Lee along with Festival Deputy Director Frank Kim and Festival director of planning James Kang have created a celebration that honors Korean culture and shares that culture with others.
There will be traditional performances, K-Pop dance, taekwondo demonstration, a talent show and traditional games.
“Most Asian cultures historically celebrate two major holidays [during] the year. The first is the Lunar New Year’s Day and the second is the Harvest Day. The first is toward the beginning of spring and the second is around the fall when the moon is full,” Lee said. “This year, the ‘Chu-Seok,’ the Korean word for Harvest Day, is celebrated on Sept. 15. From long ago, Korean ancestors, mostly farmers, celebrated the good harvest in the fall after the crops were brought in with dances, music and many traditional games. Families and villagers would gather under the full moon to thank the heavens and encourage each other for all the efforts and share the cultural harmony in peace.”
The goal of the event is for the Korean community not to forget its traditional values and culture.
“We believe it’s important to remember and cultivate our heritage to the next generation and beyond. Our goal is to celebrate our traditional Korean Harvest Day together with all our neighbors by sharing our food, games, entertainments and Korean cultural performances,” Lee said. “We also want to educate our young generation to respect and appreciate diversity, traditional values and cultural knowledge.”
Organizers expect about 1,000 visitors. And of course there will be lots of food with Bulgogi (Korean marinated beef), rice and kimchi plate with a drink for $5. The first 50 people who bring the event flyer to the food booth at 5 p.m. will receive free Bulgogi.
The KAFNLA has invited many local community leaders, government and political representatives and Korean War veterans. During the opening ceremony there will be a presentation from local high school students to thank the Korean War veterans.
“We are honored to have them each year at our event,” Lee added.
The event will also host a free acupuncture clinic and legal counseling service to help victims of the recent Sand Fire.
KAFNLA represents Korean-Americans in northern Los Angeles including La Cañada, La Crescenta, Glendale, Montrose, Sunland, Pasadena, Burbank, Tujunga, Arcadia and San Marino.
“La Cañada is at the heart of these 10 cities and the La Cañada Memorial Park is well known by our neighbors in the local area to have various cultural, educational activities and entertainments. Therefore it is an ideal location for our festival,” Lee said. “We hope that our visitors will become more enlightened in our culture from sharing the unique experiences that stimulates our taste buds, watching and listening to wonderful performances and dynamic demonstrations.”
The event is on Sept. 10 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at La Cañada Memorial Park, 1301 Foothill Blvd.