Busan International Fireworks Festival off Gwangalli Bridge in Busan, South Korea.

Umbrellas lit by light from fireworks at Busan's International Fireworks Festival in Busan, South Korea.
With only over an hour before Busan’s International Fireworks Festival was to begin, I was lost in a river of people. We flooded small streets and raged through alleyways. Our current was swift. We winded around motorbikes and cars, dodged umbrellas and shops. Every bend was new, exciting and one step closer!

Our moving force-of-life emptied onto Gwangalli Beach, where thousands already huddled together to see the show. We continued to follow a stream of people, right up under a fence blocking access to the beach. We were determined.

Eventually, we washed up within a mass of spectators pushing and shoving for the best view. As the rain came down, umbrellas went up. And they stayed up. We laughed. Some wanted to cry. It was wet. I drank a beer. We were cold. People fought. It was a wet mess, but so worth the effort.

Busan International Firework’s Festival was the most spectacular fireworks display I’ve ever experienced. I’d do it all over again for another opportunity to see an hour of colorful goodness to the beat of classics from The Beatles, Michael Jackson and Spice Girls. Next time I’ll remember to walk with an umbrella though.


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