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Families enjoy summer treasure hunt in Songdo

More than 6,000 gather at Good Market in Songdo on Saturday

SONGDO, Incheon ― Sellers were excited and buyers were satisfied at the festive flea market on Saturday in Songdo International Business District in Incheon Free Economic Zone.

Over 6,000 people gathered at the Good Market in Songdo, held at Songdo Canal Walk to enjoy shopping, a charity auction and concert. Popular booths were so packed with onlookers that it was difficult to pass by. 
Shoppers bargain over goods at the Good Market in Songdo in Incheon.
Shoppers bargain over goods at the Good Market in Songdo in Incheon.
Crowds bustle along Canal Walk during the Good Market in Songdo.
Crowds bustle along Canal Walk during the Good Market in Songdo.

Hosted by New Songdo International City Development LLC, the developer of Songdo IBD, the event was designed to encourage both locals and expats in Incheon and other metropolitan areas to help raise environmental awareness and the spirit of sharing while having fun. And 5.7 million won ($5,300), part of the total sales made that day, was donated to Korea Food for the Hungry International.

“So many came here today, which is a moment I have dreamed of since I started the New Songdo International City Development project. Today, the more you buy, the more donations will be made to those in need,” said Stan Gale, chairman of NSIC, announcing the opening of the market.

From used clothes, toys, books to antique typewriters, flowers and computer goods, almost everything for the home could be found at some 200 booths. Prices varied, but most were far cheaper than those in supermarkets.

Kids participated as sellers, having brought old toys and clothes they outgrew, calling out “5,000 won for the jeans! 3,000 won for the blue coat!” They also roamed around as buyers, clutching 1,000 won bills in their hands, hunting for toys. And when they weren’t busy in the market they ran about in the “Cool Zone” ― a wide area where machines pumped out refreshing mist ― to cool off the heat of the day.

The market was a lively place for adults as well. Lee Jae-young, a Dankook University student, was excited that she already earned 100,000 won in the first hour since the market opened. She posted a sign reading “I need to earn college tuition” at her booth.

“I was searching for other part time jobs but without much luck. I came across a poster of this event that said ‘sellers wanted’ where I live in Guwol-dong, and applied. My dream is to become a trader anyway, so this is an educational and fun experience for me. I was hoping to earn 300,000 won, but I think I will be going home with 150,000. I gave away too much in discounts,” she said.

Lee Jong-ho, a 24-year-old who came with his girlfriend who lives in Songdo, picked up two basketball jerseys.

“I wasn’t expecting anything, actually, but found these nice black jerseys. I’ve been searching for decent jerseys for almost a month, and did not expect to find them here. They are only 5,000 won each,” he said. 
An expat band entertains the crowd. Good Market in Songdo
An expat band entertains the crowd. Good Market in Songdo

Live background music, played by amateur local and expat bands, added to the festive mood. In the few moments when the music stopped, “Good Auction,” in which high-profile figures and celebrities of Incheon donated personal items, took place in the main stage.

A bamboo fan on which a Joseon Dynasty wedding ceremony of King Yeongjo and Queen Jeongsoon is portrayed, donated by Song Young-gil, Mayor of Incheon, was auctioned at 100,000 won; Incheon United Soccer Team coach Huh Jung-moo’s autographed soccer shoes and soccer balls were sold off at 110,000 won after competition between two fathers who came with their sons; and a Louis Garneau mini velo, donated by Meta Communications, was auctioned at 600,000 won and the new owner happily rode it on her way home. Though the market opened at 3 p.m., many hung around until 7 p.m., waiting for the K-pop concert to start. The crowd went wild as popular singers Baek Ji-young, former boy band member Kim Tae-woo, K-pop group Dalshabet, jazz singer Woongsan and more performed their best-known songs at a stage across the road from Canal Walk.

The “Good Market in Songdo” will also open on Sept. 17 and Oct. 16. A free shuttle bus service will be provided at Exit 4 of Central Park station of Incheon Subway Line 1. For more information, call (02) 501-4611.

By Park Min-young (