GOSEONG, April 1 (Yonhap) - The Gate of Dinosaur opened here Friday to greet visitors, marking the start of a 73-day spectacle.
The previous ones were held in 2006, 2009 and 2012 in Goseong, some 460 kilometers south of Seoul.
“The former expos took place with themes largely for children. This year, however, we have prepared many things for not only kids but for young adults and the elderly to enjoy,” Choi Pyeong-ho, head of Goseong County, said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency right after the opening ceremony.’
It was held in front of the Gate of Dinosaur, the entrance to the main venue inside the Danghangpo Tourism Zone, attended by more than 200 dignitaries and guests.
It is recognized as one of the top dinosaur sites in the world, along with Colorado in the United States and the west coast of Argentina.
Thousands of fossilized footprints of dinosaurs are located on a 6-km stretch of coastal rock bed believed to have been formed approximately 100 million years ago during the early to mid Cretaceous period.
“I congratulate the officials and residents of Goseong on hosting the dinosaur expo again,” Hong said. “I hope visitors will have an impression deep in their hearts, just like those weighty footprints that dinosaurs left.”
The exposition, indeed, offers a host of fun activities for families and dating couples via various interactive contents and hands-on experience programs.
In the DinoAquarium, a pair of shoebills, dinosaur-like giant birds, are open to public for the first time in South Korea, along with an albino crocodile and a mermaid-like manatee.
In the nighttime program to last until 10 p.m., dazzling light and laser shows will be displayed at the main plaza and on some walls, which include a “golden tunnel” and a “dinosaur gate,” organizers said.
Around 1.9 million people are expected to visit this year’s expo. The 2012 expo drew 1.78 million visitors, including 90,000 foreigners, they added.