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Ice fishing fest opens in Inje after 2-year hiatus

All News 17:21 January 20, 2017

INJE, South Korea, Jan. 20 (Yonhap) -- An annual ice fishing festival will open on the frozen Soyang Lake here on Saturday to reinvigorate this remote mountainous town bordering North Korea, organizers said Friday.

The festival will continue in Inje, about 165 km east of Seoul, through Jan. 30 under the theme "Natural Theme Park," featuring smelt catching, ice sledding, ice soccer, snow sculpture display, food tasting, hoop rolling and other winter sporting activities.

Ice fishing fest opens in Inje after 2-year hiatus - 1

Visitors can also enjoy an augmented reality (AR) game "Smelt Go" in which they can collect smelt characters using AR apps.

Those who have successfully gathered all 25 smelt characters are given a 5,000 won (US$4.20) voucher and qualify to compete in a quiz show to get additional gifts.

Ice fishing fest opens in Inje after 2-year hiatus - 2

As many as 840 players from 120 teams from across the country have registered to take part in an ice football competition during the festival to win a Gangwon Province Governor's trophy.

"We've prepared a variety of unique programs for men and women of all ages combining nature and information technology," an official of Inje County Office said. "We are doing our best to make the festival a success because it's been three years since we held it the last time."

The festival was not held for the past two years due to a drought and warm weather which produced no frozen river.

Ice fishing fest opens in Inje after 2-year hiatus - 3

Since the Inje ice festival was first held in 1998, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival and several other ice festivals followed suit across the country, dwarfing the original version.

Launched in 2003, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival has grown to become one of the world's four major winter festivals along with China's Ice and Snow World, Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival and Canada's Winter Carnival.

"We'll endeavor to recover the glory of our past, although we lost the title of the best winter festival long time ago," a county official said.

Ice fishing fest opens in Inje after 2-year hiatus - 4

hdh@yna.co.kr
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