|Visitors enjoy the annual Boryeong Mud Festival in this 2019 July file photo. Korea Times file|
This year's Boryeong Mud Festival, one of South Korea's most celebrated summer events, will be held online and offline next month in consideration of COVID-19, local officials said Sunday.
The municipality of Boryeong, a South Chungcheong Province city 190 kilometers south of Seoul, said the 24th version of its annual mud festival will mix online and offline events on Daecheon Beach during its 10-day run that begins on July 23.
It also disclosed a total of 18 programs under the slogan of "On and Off" ― 11 online contents and seven offline contents ― for this year's mud festival.
Online programs intended to help netizens enjoy various tourism resources and local food, as well as the mud festival itself, from home will include a mud experience event based on an interactive streaming system, a guidance on dishes made of Boryeong's agricultural and fishery products, and an auction event for various products.
Offline programs will include a mud spray shower booth, a self-made mud pack experience and an absurd behavior content by 100 teams.
City officials said the safety of visiting tourists will be their top priority as far as offline events are concerned. To that end, quarantine booths will be installed throughout the city, including at the entrance to Daecheon Beach, Daecheon Station and bus terminals.
Last year, the Boryeong Mud Festival was scaled down into an online festival due to fears of COVID-19 transmissions.
"Our city has decided to combine online and offline events this year, as it is expected that daily life would be restored somewhat due to the increasing vaccinations against COVID-19," Boryeong Mayor Kim Dong-il said.
Boryeong is famous for its wide mudflats formed along the western coast, with its high-quality mud that is rich in minerals and known to help prevent skin aging. Since 1998, the central South Korean city has organized the mud festival as part of efforts to promote its natural resources among international tourists. (Yonhap)