The Korea Herald

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Welcome Daehakro Festival lights up Seoul's stage hub

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Oct. 16, 2023 - 19:30

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"2023 Welcome Daehakro" (Korea Tourism Organization)

Seoul's Daehangno district was brimming with visitors on Sunday for the opening of "2023 Welcome Daehakro," the largest domestic performance tourism festival in the country.

The festivities began with a vibrant opening show on the main street, which was closed to traffic for the event. The opening show featured a festive parade of performances from musicals, dance, taekwondo demonstrations and marching bands.

As part of the festival, fringe performances will continue throughout October, with a series of outdoor shows at Marronnier Park on Sunday and on Oct. 27-28. These performances will showcase a diverse range of street arts, including theater, musicals, non-verbal shows, magic and classical music.

A scene from A scene from "Old Wicked Songs" (Ninestory, Park Company)

In addition, six performances were selected through a competition for the K-Stage lineup.

The selected performances include the play "Williams," a romantic musical drama, "Only You," a traditional historical musical, "Naseol -- Orchid Snow," a musical drama, "Old Wicked Songs," the film-inspired musical "Finding Mr. Destiny" and a magic drawing show titled "Doodle Pop."

One performance will be broadcast each day through online channels, including YouTube, Naver TV and Mafengwo, China's travel and leisure platform featuring multilingual subtitles in English, Japanese, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.

The festival offers two guided tours in English, introducing Korean culture to both foreign and Korean tourists. The two-hour tours offer a unique experience as participants explore the cultural landmarks of Daehakro.

The cost is 10,000 won per person, and a minimum of 4 people is required for the tour. Reservations are necessary.

"Campus Tour" (2023 Welcome Daehakro)

During the Campus Tour (on Oct. 20, 27-28), visitors can dress in old-style student uniforms and explore the cultural heritage of Sungkyunkwan University and its campus. The tour also includes a visit to Seoul Munmyo, a historical temple.

The Culture Tour (on Oct. 20-22, 27) offers a unique blend of modern and traditional experiences. During the day, participants visit Jangsu Fortress Festival and Hanyangdoseong Fortress Village, while the nighttime tour includes a visit to the Ewha Fortress Village and Heunginjimun Fortress Park.

Visitors can freely enjoy the festival with a "stamp tour." By collecting six recommended stamps from the festival, participants can earn a water bottle or bottle strap as a reward.

An English guidebook is available, introducing visitors to recommended restaurants, cafes and shops in the district.