Hwacheon water festival splashes into summer fun 물의나라 화천 쪽배축제 개막
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Hwacheon water festival splashes into summer fun 물의나라 화천 쪽배축제 개막

September 2, 2019

In the northern part of Gangwon Province,
a hot spot has emerged for iconic festivals, ones ranging from tomato wrestling to winter
ice fishing. Keeping with the tradition, Hwacheon County
is now hosting its annual rafting festival. Our Paul Yi dives head first into the aquatic
festivities. Pumping over 37-hundred liters of water per minute, this recreational jet
pack allows users to fly through the air at speeds of up to 40 kilometers per hour. The James Bond-inspired jet pack uses high-pressure
water streams to float would-be rocketeers at a maximum height of nine meters for up
to four hours. It’s just one of the many activities available
here at the Hwacheon Jjokbae Festival in Gangwon Province. “You’re really flying up into the sky. It’s
definitely appealing. Although it looks difficult, anybody who receives about 15 to 30 minutes
of training can do it.” The water sports-themed festival is named
after the small Korean rafts that are deeply rooted in traditional folklore. Held near the Bungeoseom Island area, the
popular festival kicked off earlier this week under the theme, “Clear and Abundant Water
of Hwacheon.” Another featured water activity at the 16-day
long event is cable skiing. Unlike traditional water skiing, where someone
is pulled by a motorboat, cable skiing allows wakeboarders to be pulled by a series of electric-powered
cables. “One advantage is that it’s eco-friendly because
it uses electricity, which means people can go for an inexpensive ride. It’s such a popular
sport overseas that it’s being considered as an event at the 2020 Olympics.” There’s also plenty of exciting activities
for land lovers that want to stay high and dry. Cross-river zip-lines give participants the
chance to feel the wind rushing through their hair. “I feel like I’m trembling here because I
don’t know if I can do this. No wait,… I think I’m able to go through with this. I
totally believe in myself. Okay, let’s go ” Outdoor music concerts, kayaking tours and
paddle boardz rentals are all part of the festival as well. It’s a great way to stay cool this summer,
but you may want to get that bathing suit ready soon… as the festival ends on August
11th. Paul Yi, Arirang News

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