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On Saturday, November 9th, join us for Opening Festivities – Celebrating the Year of Korea in Canada in Queen Victoria Park along the Niagara Parkway from 2 to 8pm as we host a day packed full of exciting, engaging and free, family-friendly programming that culminates in a stupendous 15-minute fireworks show choreographed to a live musical performance by The Niagara Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bradley Thachuk.

For a detailed Schedule of Events please click here!

As you may know, the Federal Government has declared 2013 the Year of Korea in Canada in honour of the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Korean War and the 50th Anniversary of the diplomatic relationship between Canada and South Korea.  In honour of this, Opening FestivitiesCelebrating the Year of Korea in Canada will showcase a number of cultural and artistic activities highlighting Canadian and Korean cultures and traditions.

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From 2pm to 8pm enjoy a multitude of free, engaging and interactive, family-friendly activities!  From traditional Korean dance performances by the Orient Dance Co. and drum performances by SamulNori Canada to fantastic musical performances by YTV’s The Next Star – Season 5 winner, Brooklyn Roebuck, the Niagara Institute of Music & Arts, Funky Mama’s and the Niagara Star Singers, among many others.  In fact, you’ll be able to enjoy over 100 performances throughout the day!

You can also learn to make Korean lanterns, watch exciting taekwondo demonstrations and marvel at ice sculptures being created right before your eyes.  And for the foodies among you, enjoy loads of food options including samples of Korean specialties.

At 2pm, we pay tribute to those Canadians who served courageously during the Korean War with a Commemorative Korean War Veterans Tribute Ceremony held in conjunction with the Korea Veterans Association, Niagara District. Niagara Region Korean War Veterans will be honoured at the Ceremony, which will also include performances by the Niagara Regional Pipe Band, Queenston Ladies Choir, and the Niagara Memorial Militaries Alumni Drum Corps.  Don’t forget your Poppy!

From 3pm – 6pm we will have live cooking demonstrations going on at the Mobile Culinary Theatre. The demonstrations will feature Korean Food Specialties prepared by Chefs Soung (Dean) An, Jane Jhung and Sang Kim! Learn how to prepare and also get a chance to try delicious samples of Bibimbap, Jap Chae, and Bossam with Kimchi (click links for recipes)!

There will also be live music throughout the afternoon on the Coca-Cola stage just a short walk from Queen Victoria Park (between Edgewaters Restaurant and the TD RINK at the Brink). Click here for the schedule of performances on the Coca-Cola stage!

We haven’t forgotten the young and young-at-heart.  Throughout the day, Opening Festivities will host numerous children’s activities including: The Home Depot Santa’s Workshop, Meridian Credit Union Face Painting, Train Rides, Magicians, Buskers, Juggler Magic featuring Corrie Cunningham and Photos with Santa.  Bring your camera!

Then at 6pm, Opening Festivities concludes with the traditional ‘flip the switch’ lighting ceremony with plenty of on-stage performances including a 30-minute concert by Brooklyn Roebuck and her band.  This is followed by the spectacular fireworks display choreographed to the live performance by The Niagara Symphony Orchestra that you won’t want to miss!

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With the flip of the switch, the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights illuminates the world’s largest Canadian-American Flag display, Niagara’s iconic Skylon Tower, and the spectacular, two-story high, Zimmerman Fountain, not to mention the Religions of the World displays, and new this year, be the first to see the exquisite, hand-painted lantern displays and Tunnel of Wish Lanterns from the award-winning Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival of South Korea.

We invite you to bring the entire family to kick off the festive season at Canada’s foremost illumination festival, in its most famous address – Niagara Falls.

PLEASE NOTE: All times are approximate and the day’s schedule is subject to change. Opening Festivities will take place in rain, snow or sun so please dress appropriately for the weather.  Seating is available for the 2pm Commemorative Korean War Veterans Ceremony and the 6pm Flip the Switch Official Lighting Ceremony.  Washrooms and food vendors will be located on-site.

Parking can be found at various locations, chief among them is the Fallsview Parking Lot located across from Table Rock or at the Skylon Tower.  The WEGO bus system also allows visitors the ease of taking the bus into Queen Victoria Park from various stops located throughout the Tourist Districts.

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