top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichael Acevedo

A Pedacito Of The 2022 Orlando Korea Festival Hosted By The Orlando Korea Culture Center

Festivals are a great way to immerse yourself into the experience. The diversity of Central Florida and it's high population affords locals and visitors with the opportunity to attend all types of festivals; everything from music festivals like EDC to the Orlando Beer Festival.

One of my favorite ways to experience culture is by attending a culture-specific festival like the Orlando Korea Festival hosted by The Orlando Korea Culture Center. This day-long festival consisted of all the ways Korean culture influences our community and our senses!

Quickly Jump To:

Learn More About The Orlando Korea Culture Center

The Orlando Korea Culture Center (OKCC) is dedicated to providing insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea. They encourage everyone to visit and learn something new about a nation with a history spanning more than 5,000 years.

The diverse range of programs includes class offerings in Korean language, traditional dance, K-Pop dancing, Korean singing, Taekwondo, and Korean cooking. They also hold annual events such as the Korean Speech Contest, Global Taste of Korea, our Annual K-pop Contest, and the Orlando Korea Festival. ​

The goal of the Orlando Korean Culture Center is to create an understanding of Korean culture and to promote a more active people-to-people exchange between the Republic of Korea and other cultures in Orlando through diverse programs and events.

OKCC is located within Grace Church at 7000 Winegard Rd. just across the street from Winegard Elementary School.

Everything I Experienced At The Orlando Korea Festival

The event was well planned and there were plenty of staff and volunteers to help direct traffic. I was blown away (in a very good way) by how many people turned out to the event. As someone who is passionate about culture, this really made me smile!

Korean Iced Coffee With Dalgonas By Dalgona Sisters

After walking the grounds to get my bearings, I immediately wanted to try all the food. I mean, is there really a better way to experience culture than through the food?! I started off with a tasty Korean iced coffee from the Dalgona Sisters.

Dalgonas are cookie-shaped sweets made with melted sugar and baking soda. It was first created after the Korean War in the 1950's when poor families, unable to afford store-bough candy, made their own sweets at home for their children. You may have seen this snack on the popular Netflix series, Squid Game.

The Dalgona was a tasty topper to my iced coffee. As it slowly dissolved into the drink it provided a nutty caramel flavor and made it sweeter over time. This was the perfect way to start the day at the Orlando Korea Festival!

Meat Gyozas By Sweet Shiba

After having something sweet and cold I immediately went for the opposite. I stopped over at Sweet Shiba for something savory and hot: gyozas! They offered a vegetarian option, which I do love, but opted for the non-veg option.

The outer skin was just the right thickness to hold in the warm filling and still have a nice chewy texture. The inside was savory and full of yummy Korean flavors! The dipping sauce was wonderful and salty. The pro move is to bit the gyozas open just enough to then get some of that sauce inside. If you know, you know!

Gimbap By The Multicultural Love Room

Next, the friendly ladies preparing fresh gimbap were so eager for me to try their dish that I couldn't say no. And boy was I glad that I didn't! Gimbap or kimbap is made from cooked rice and ingredients such as vegetables, fish, and meats that are rolled in gim—dried sheets of seaweed—and served in bite-sized slices.

These tasty slices reminded me of Japanese sushi rolls but their flavor was uniquely Korean, which I really enjoyed.

Sikhye By Star Korean BBQ

Star Korean BBQ featured several yummy looking (and smelling) options, including bulgogi (bbq beef), hotteok (sweet pancakes), and even containers of kimchi (fermented vegetables)!

I opted for a beverage I'd never heard of called sikhye. After all, if you didn't try something you've never heard of, did you really go to a cultural festival? They also had funny signs featuring Korean pop culture figures enjoying the beverage, so I had to try it.

Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, usually served as a dessert. In addition to its liquid ingredients, Sikhye contains grains of cooked rice and in some cases pine nuts. It is similar to the Chinese jiuniang and Japanese amazake.

The taste was quite light. It was starchy but in a pleasant way that also provided some light sweetness. Overall it was enjoyable and I'm really glad I got to try it.

Traditional Drum & Dance Performance

There were several amazing musical performances at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival. I really enjoyed this drum performance by a group of ladies dressed in fabulous traditional Korean clothes. They were led by a very enthusiastic coach who attempted to keep the group on beat by hitting a gong, which was quite amusing.

The ladies were dressed so beautifully in their vibrant traditional clothing. They were so friendly too and were enthusiastic about posing for a group photo for me. Their passion for sharing their culture was radiating through their smiles and energy!

Performers posing in their traditional Korean clothing before taking the stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival
Performers posing in their traditional Korean clothing before taking the stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival

Korean Fan Dance By The National Association of Intercultural Family Mission

Another treat was seeing a beautiful presentation of a traditional Korean fan dance performed by a member of the National Association of Intercultural Family Mission. By this point in the afternoon it was already very warm out but the performer handled it with beauty and grace.

All of the details of the presentation were stunning. The gown had beautiful floral detailing, the hair was braided so intricately and accented by colorful butterfly clips, and the fan featured a vibrant watercolor painting of flower.

A performer dressed in traditional Korean clothing prepares to take the stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival
A performer dressed in traditional Korean clothing prepares to take the stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival

Kimchi Pancake By Woori Baptist Church

After a couple of performances I was ready to try one more traditional Korean dish. A few members from the Woori Baptist Church were eagerly working the crowd to share their delicious selection of snacks. They offered a selection of roasted eggs, kimchi rice, scorched rice, and kimchi pancakes.

I opted for the kimchi pancakes and they were so delicious! Although they were fried, they weren't as greasy as I was expecting (which was a good thing), and they were filled with tasty textures and flavors. The kimchi flavor was subtle but the heat built up over time in a pleasant way. This was one of my favorites.

Uniting Generations Through Love Of Culture

My favorite part of the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival was the way the organizers were able to bring together several generations from the community all through the love of Korean culture. While I was personally excited to experience the traditional elements of the culture through food, music, dance, and art, there were troves of young people excited to share their passion for contemporary Korean pop culture.

The K-pop singing and dancing competitions completely electrified the crowd through their energetic performances! It was so cool to see so many friends and family members come out to support the dance groups that performed and seeing the passion within each of the performers as well.

The main stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival
The main stage at the 2022 Orlando Korea Festival

I am really excited to continue to learn more about Korean culture and the many ways that it weaves its way into the cultural identity of Central Florida and beyond.

Connect & Follow OKCC

To learn more about The Orlando Korea Culture Center and to stay up to date on upcoming events, discover resources, or get involved, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


bottom of page