River Discovery Center Announces 26 Teams for Dragon Boat Festival

Julie Harris or Wendy Yates
(270) 575-9958

The River Discovery Center announces the first annual Paducah Dragon Boat Festival to be held at Paducah’s riverfront on September 22, 2012 has 26 teams registered.  Dragon Boat Racing started in China over 2,500 years ago and has long been their National Sport.  In North America it has grown from relative obscurity 20 years ago, to over 1,000 annual events with over 1,000,000 participants. 

Dragon boat racing is visually spectacular and easy to learn.  Anyone can do it, regardless of age, gender, or athletic ability.  Furthermore, it is a sport where men and women compete together in an unbiased and fun environment.  This exciting sport, now the fastest growing team sport in the U.S., has become an extremely popular team building activity for community organizations and corporations.

Sponsors for the event are Ingram Barge, AEP River Operations, US Bank, Marquette Transportation, James Marine and WSPD-TV and WKYX.  In addition to the sponsors, there are 20 more corporations and non-profit organizations with teams.    

Executive Director, Julie Harris says, “we are overwhelmed with the response by the community to the Dragon Boat Races.  I think the business community realized it would be such a fun and unique opportunity for their employees as well as family members and friends.  It has been so much fun to hear about the building excitement and anticipation of the races.”

Proceeds from the event will go towards the educational programs of the center.  There will be food, drink and other vendors on hand all day.  Entrance to the festival is free of charge.   

The races will begin at 9am and run until approximately 4pm with an hour lunch break.  The races are conducted in heats and each team will race a minimum of three times.  The race course is 250 meters and is boats will race against the current. 

Trophies will be awarded to the top 3 teams and each paddler on the top teams will receive a medal.  Additional awards will be for Best Dressed Drummer, Most Team Spirit and Best Team Area. 

22Dragons from Montreal Canada will be overseeing the event.  They are one of North Americas largest Dragon Boat producers and operators.