Today, the Jeju Olle Foundation announced that the 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival would open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, October 22, across all of the 23 Jeju Olle Trail routes for 23 days.Celebrating its 12th anniversary this year, the Jeju Olle Walking Festival is one of the best-known festivals in Korea, especially for foot travelers. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival adopts a dispersed operations format like the year before, under the 'Apart Together' slogan. The festival opens over the 23 Jeju Olle Trail routes, excluding the isle ones (U-do, Chuja-do, and Gapa-do), for 23 days from Friday, October 22, to Tuesday, November 16 (closing Wednesdays). The festival invites visitors to walk different routes and enjoy local cultures and exciting performances. The 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival is hosted by Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, organized by the Jeju Olle Foundation, and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and the Korea Tourism Organization.
The Jeju Olle Trail is open to anyone all year round; nevertheless, there are special programs to enjoy only during the Jeju Olle Walking Festival. This year's festival offers a wide variety of programs planned by the villages on the Jeju Olle Trail. Live storytelling of the village is taking place at the 'Doldam Shimpang' restaurant in Ojo-ri Village on route 2. <Naegyul Dugyul> and <Have you caught a Bomal shell? Have you tried a Bomal shell?> events invite everyone to pick tangerines and Bomal shells on routes 4 and 7, respectively. <Dear My Hogeun-dong> is a book talk about a book written and drawn by the old ladies of Hogeun-dong, Seogwipo City on route 7-1. Route 13 hosts <The joy of getting to know more about the Nakcheon-ri village while playing and eating>. Some festival programs are more focused on learning about the history of Jeju while walking the trail. On route 10 is another storytelling on the April 3 Incident by Mr. Yang Shinha, who is the guru of Daejeong-eup's history and the man who recorded the histories, sites, and lives of Jeju over the past 70 years. On route 14, the program invites participants to see where Lady Jin Ayoung spent the rest of her life with the agony of the April 3 Incident and commemorate. Prepared by the city of culture and Daepo-dong village, the 'real' street culture unfolds on route 8 through a cultural exhibition of the residents' and artists' writings, drawings, and pieces.
This year at the festival, the Jeju Olle Foundation is focusing on green. The foundation is hosting green campaigns as part of the festival, ensuring the visitors to the Jeju Olle Trail realize the significance of the environment and care for and preserve Jeju. The C.C.C. (Cigarette butt Cleaning Campaign) is about giving away Clean Kit (trash bag and gloves) in return for collecting cigarette butts on the Jeju Olle Trail every Friday. Senior models in dresses and outdoor fashions, designed with Jeju Olle's symbols of Ganse, arrows, and ribbons, show up on the runway of the <Outdoor Fashion Show with Gearus> at Gudumi-pogu (port) on route 6. In addition, <What is Hayoung Olle> invites the participants to take a walk on the Hayoung Olle trail that recently opened in Seogwipo City in May. Many other programs are taking place in coordination with other institutions.
Last year, the Jeju Olle Walking Festival introduced the dispersed format. Most festivals were canceling due to the pandemic across the country, and it became imperative to host a safe event over anything else. Instead of a concentrated format with more than 3,000 participants, the foundation adopted a dispersed format to spread participants across all Jeju Olle routes. Last year, the festival invited 5,394 participants over 23 days and ended safely and without incident. The dispersed format, smaller in size, offers participants more satisfaction and is evaluated as a rather pandemic-friendly festival to support small and medium merchants and local businesses near the Jeju Olle Trail. Therefore, this year's festival is hosting in an identical format.
The 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival opens for a long time, and registration is available even after the opening. Registration is available for thru-hike tickets for less than five days, seven days, ten days, and 23 days. Every participant will receive the 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival official souvenirs and special giveaways from corporate sponsors. In addition, the 23-day-ticket purchasers will receive a Jeju Olle Passport and a thru-hike sticker, a thru-hike pin, and other varieties. Registration is open until 3:00 p.m. every day before the day of the walk, and each route closes at 20 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are more details available on the 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival website at intro.jejuolle.org.
PongNang social enterprise offers the Jeju Olle Walking Festival's official 'WE WALK Tour Package' through the festival for the whole Jeju Olle Walking Festival experience. The package provides transportation to each route's starting and finishing points, accommodation, meals, experiences, programs, and full-coverage traveler's insurance. It applies to all 25 Jeju Olle Trail routes, including routes 1-1 (U-do) and 10-1 (Gapa-do). It is also possible to add route 18-1 (Chuja-do) to the package before or after the festival. "We are celebrating the festival despite the pandemic," remarked Chairperson Myung Sook Suh of the Jeju Olle Foundation. "We are making concerted efforts to ensure everyone would enjoy the wonderful activities the 2021 Jeju Olle Walking Festival has put together, in safe conditions. Based on our experiences last year, we expect this year's festival would be greater and more engaging."
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