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Bridge festival celebrates iconic Busan landmark

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Yeongdo Bridge can be seen rising during the annual Yeongdo Bridge Festival, 

 

The 25th Yeongdo Bridge Festival, the only bridge-themed festival in Korea, will be held from Sept. 15 through 17 around Yeongdo Bridge and Bongnae-dong (neighborhood). Highlights will include performances, parades, tours and more. 

 

■ Yeongdo Bridge

Yeongdo Bridge is Busan's first island-to-mainland connecting bridge as well as Korea's first drawbridge. Since opening in 1934, an event that drew as many as 60,000 spectators from the Busan and Gyeongnam (southeastern region) area, the bridge has served as a vital gateway for locals. Back then, the bridge was considered Busan's iconic landmark to the extent that numerous refugees from the Korean War made promises to meet again at Yeongdo Bridge. 

The bridge was originally designed to be raised seven times-a-day to allow ships to pass under. That ended with a major renovation in 1966. It was renovated again in 2013. While it no longer needs to be raised for ships, the bridge is still raised at 2 p.m. everyday in recognition as Korea's only drawbridge. 

 

■ Festival Programs

 

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Participants celebrate the event with music. 

 

B-boy dance performances, acrobatic performances, music and singers will open the Yeongdo Bridge Festival at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 in Bongnae-dong. A 10-minute fireworks show over the bridge will begin at 9:20 p.m.

A sea fountain show will coincide with the daily opening of Yeongdo Bridge at 2 p.m. on Sept. 16. A special evening bridge opening will kick off an 8 p.m. concert on Yeongdo Bridge. A hip-hop performance by Dynamic Duo will follow the opening at 8:30 p.m. with a fireworks show concluding the bridge concert event at 9:30 p.m.

Those who want to participate can apply for a chance to sing at the Yeongdo Song Festival from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 17.

Various tour programs are also on offer for visitors: a sanbokdoro (mountainside road) tour around Yeongdo Bridge, cruise tour and an excursion to Kangkangee Arts Village. Applications must be filed on the website (in Korean).

Food booths and various other exhibits will be set up during the festival, offering opportunities to check out the way things were way back through reproduced olden shops and streets. 

A street parade with Yeongdo residents, sea fountain and jet ski shows will also add to the festive atmosphere of this fun three-day event.

-How to get there: Nampo Station (Metro line 1), exit 6. Cross the bridge to find the venue on the right. Or, take bus 8, 30, 66, 88, 113, 186 or 190 and get off at Yeongdo Police Station. 

-Information: ydfestival.com