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Late cold snap leaves blossom festivals without blooms

By Lee Si-jin

Published : March 24, 2024 - 14:49

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A festivalgoer takes photos of cherry blossom buds at Jinhae Gunhangje Festival at Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, on March 23. (Yonhap) A festivalgoer takes photos of cherry blossom buds at Jinhae Gunhangje Festival at Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, on March 23. (Yonhap)

One of South Korea’s iconic cherry blossom festivals, opened Saturday in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province, but the cherry blossoms were still days away from coming into full bloom.

According to a Changwon City official, the city moved up the opening date for its cherry blossom festival, Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, believing the mild winter might cause flowers to bloom early.

But, the lack of sunny days and a cold snap in early March deterred the cherry blossoms from flowering.

The town's trees have yet to turn a powdery pink, but the festival venues were filled with visitors Saturday who wished to capture the spring moment with their families and friends.

Visitors are asked to park their cars and take free shuttle buses from four different bus stations -- Ungcheon Elementary School, Gongda-ro, Doosan Volvo-ro, and Inui-dong -- to get to the festival area.

Cherry blossom trees at the area around Yeojwacheon Stream in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap) Cherry blossom trees at the area around Yeojwacheon Stream in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province. (Yonhap)

The festival plans to entertain travelers with a maritime firework show at Jinhaeru Beach Park at 8 p.m. on Wednesday. It also presents a special air show performed by the South Korean Air Force’s aerobatic flight team at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Jinhae night market at the areas around Jungwon Rotary Intersection are open until 10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Gyeongpo Cherry Blossom Festival, which was scheduled to open at the 4.3-kilometer circular walking trail at Gyeongpo Lake in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Friday, has been postponed by a week.

Gangneung is expecting heavy spring rain or possible snow Monday to Wednesday, according to the Meteorological Administration of Gangwon Province on Sunday.

And with the city’s cherry blossoms yet to bloom, the upcoming flower festival will take place April 5 to 10.

In its latest press release, the city said the changes in schedule were made to deliver a warmer and safer cherry blossom festival.