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Guide: Chicago Korean Festival 2012

Korean Festival

2012 Chicago Korean Festival
On Bryn Mawr between Kimball and Kedzie
August 18-19
Suggested Donation $5

Chicago celebrates more heritages than most people realize. Latino, German, Polish, Chinese... the list goes on. Out of all the summer festivals, there's one that seems to get overlooked despite its importance: the Chicago Korean Festival. Being overlooked aside, the Chicago Korean Festival has become one of the largest ethnic festivals in the city. No matter your background, you should check out this great event.

Also, on Saturday at 2pm, you can see CBS's own Susanna Song at the 60th Korean War Commutative Ceremony!

Korean Festival

Some Highlights

Culturally, Korea has a lot to offer and the Chicago Korean Festival can prove this to you. Just keep in mind that this is merely a small glimpse of how awesome Korea's culture and history is. Here's a sampling of what will be going on. For more information, make sure to checkout

They Can Beat You Up

But they won't, cause they're nice.

But they can.

Ssiruem, for example, means business. A style of Korean wrestling, it gained popularity in the late 14th century, and may have been around for much longer than that. Two men in belts face each other in circle with one goal in mind: bringing any part of their opponent's body above the knee crashing to the ground. Ssiruem takes place on the Kimball stage all afternoon both Saturday and Sunday.

Taekwondo is the national sport of South Korea. Roughly translating to punch-kick-way, or way of the fist and foot, taekwondo is made up of an amalgam of other ancient, Korean martial arts. While it includes punches, taekwondo is known for its powerful kicks. You can catch demonstrations of this striking martial art on Saturday on the Kedzie stage at 2 and 5 and on Sunday at 2:20. Saturday and Sunday's taekwondo will be performed by Jang's Martial Arts and Bill Cho Taekwondo.

Korean Festival

Singing & Dancing

On Sunday you can catch Two Bored Dorks. Their name is an apt description for their music. Getting popular on youtube with covers by the likes of Adele, they are definitely dorks, but very talented, fun dorks.

There's also a whole host of singing and dancing events going on during the festival. Want to prove you have moves? You can enter the K-Pop Dance contest on Saturday at 5. If you're more of a vocalist, you can enter the singing contest instead, which is on Saturday at 7 for non-Korean contestants and on Sunday at 7 for everyone.

All in all, there's a lot going on at the Chicago Korean Festival. Find out what else is happening on their programming page. Even if none of the events interest you, try checking it out -- you might be surprised by what you see. Besides, nothing beats Korean BBQ.

Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago

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