About Dragon Boats

Dragon Boat Races at the Dragon Festival

The dragon boat races are an integral part of the Dragon Festival. Our goal for the races is to bring to life the history of dragon boat racing and to encourage everyone to participate in a team sport that originated in China. These sleek, ornately designed boats are each 40-ft long and under 4-ft. in width. Each comes with a drum to provide the rhythm for the paddlers. The character of each boat is shown through its intricately designed head and tail representing the most venerated mythical beast in Chinese folklore–the dragon. The dragon is believed to be a benevolent creature with powers to bring rain (that guarantees good harvest) and the power to ward off illness.

The Legend of Dragon Boat Racing

The history of dragon boat racing dates back 2,400 years to China. It originated as a day to commemorate the death of Wat Yuen (Qu Yuan) – a poet, minister, and counselor to the emperor during the Chu dynasty. The State of China wanted to conquer all states and asked them to sign a treaty. Qu Yuan advised him not to do so. But the Emperor misinterpreted this as his attempt to assume greater political power over the other advisors. The Emperor banished him to a remote area of southern China in the Hunan province. Despondent, he wrote one of his most beautiful poems and then threw himself into the river to express his despair and sorrow. Local fishermen raced to the tragic scene in their boats, splashing water with their oars in an effort to scare away the fish. They also dropped rice dumplings into the river as a way to distract the fish so they would not eat Wat’s body. The re-enactment of this event takes place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in Asia.

Dragon Boat Racing Today

While dragon boat racing originated in China, it is now a cross-cultural sport with events throughout the world, both at the local and international levels. Its popularity has made it the fastest growing team water sport, with clubs and races in more than 60 countries. The biggest event outside of Asia is in Sweden followed by the US and Canada. Recognized for promoting camaraderie, strength and endurance in its participants, the sport is also gaining grounds in corporate and charitable circles.

About The Festival Event on July 13th

Registration for Boat Race

Each team requires 25 people. 4 are standby, 21 will be on the boat. Out of that, 8 must be female. 1 is a drummer. Please fill the paperwork in the registration form: https://dragonfestival.org/sports-registration/ and you may choose to pay online or mail in your registration form to wave the online processing fee. Each team will require a team captain who will be the main person to receive all communication to the team along with a waiver form that must be completed before getting on the boat. On the week of the festival which is Saturday the 13th, 2024, the team captain is require to show up for a captain meeting with the rest of the boat racer captains, this will potentially be Friday the 12th between the hours of 12pm-7pm. On that day, they will be give their schedule for practice and race time.

Food Vendors

There is limited space for food vendor of no more than 30. Last day to register to become a food vendor is May 31st 11:59pm. This can also be found online: https://dragonfestival.org/event-vendor-registration/and or mail to us for registration. We won’t be able to hold any spots and it is first come first serve. All food vendors can sell anything other than water. Water will be sold from The Dragon Festival Team as part of our fundraiser to support the festival.

Food Trucks

There is limited space for food trucks of no more than 8. Last day to register is also May 31st. Registration is found on the Vendor Registration: https://dragonfestival.org/event-vendor-registration/

Same rule apply to food trucks as they apply to food vendors.

Merchandise/Exhibitors

Merchandise and exhibitors are registered on the Vendor Registration and if paid online, there is a processing fee associated with it. If mailed, the fee is a flat $500 for exhibitors. We will provide tent, table, and chairs for a fee if you choose, please email info@dragonfestival.org. We are still working with vendors for quotes and will update that as soon as we have more information. Merchandisers selling will is charged at $265 per booth. Please pay online: https://dragonfestival.org/event-vendor-registration/

All Vendors will get their booth location after June 30th when the mapping is in progress. All Vendors will be placed based on categories of what they are exhibiting or selling.

Performers/Entertainment

Performers will register by emailing info@dragonfestival.org with the organization name, how many performers, what type of performance, and a main contact name and number. We will reach out to you for confirmation via email along with an agenda as soon as we are done with registration towards end of June. There is no charge and we do not pay for performers or entertainments but we hope to partner with you through collaboration of our organizations and to make our event lively and entertaining. All performers and volunteers will receive a discount meal ticket to any food vendor they choose as appreciation for their time.

Performers can register here: https://dragonfestival.org/performers-entertainment-volunteer-form/

Note: Volunteers must volunteer more than 3 hours straight to get their meal ticket from the person in charge of Volunteers.

Volunteers can register: https://dragonfestival.org/volunteer-form/