River Discovery Center Announces 32 Teams for Dragon Boat Festival

Julie Harris
(270) 575-9958

The River Discovery Center announces the second annual Paducah Dragon Boat Festival to be held at Paducah’s riverfront on Saturday, September 21, 2013 has 32 teams registered.  Proceeds from the event will go towards the educational programs of the center.   

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 North America., has become an extremely popular team building activity for community organizations and corporations.  The dragon boats are 40 foot long canoe-like boats with colorful dragon heads and tails.  22 dragons also provide a professional steersman for each team.  

Sponsors for the event are Ingram Barge, AEP River Operations, Marquette Transportation, Paducah Rigging, James Marine, Nola’s Boutique and WKYX.  In addition to the sponsors, there are 28 more corporations and non-profit organizations with teams.    

Company/Organization Team Name
Ingram Barge Rock-N-Rowers
AEP River Operations Mighty Mariners
Marquette Marquette Warriors
NOLA's Boutique Sea Monkeys
P&L Railroad Locomotion
P&L Railroad Crazy Train
Pine Bluff Materials Dredging Dragons
Yeiser Art Center Bright Red YACs
KY Thoroughbreasts KY ThoroughBreasts
Rehab Associates Foundation GoPerformance and Fitness
West Kentucky Community and Technical College WKCTC River Warriors
Larry Stovesand Automotive Group Are We There Yet?
LATA KY, Equipment Depot and Mako Industries Stroke of Luck
MSI Tai-1-On
Paducah Water PW WaveRunners
Temps Plus Temporary Insanity
Baptist Health Paducah Baptist Heart Starters
Murray State University MSU Paducah Racers
Paducah Bank & Trust Wow Warriors
US Bank Captain Shield's Dynamic Paddlers
Peel & Holland Risk Avengers
Lourdes Hospital Oars of Glory
Orthopedic Institute of Western KY Bone Collectors
Credit Bureau Systems, Inc. Flaming Dragon
TVA- Shawnee Fossil Plant Shawnee Power Racers
River Valley Ag Credit/Lowry Farms AgriDragons
KeeFORCE In I.T. to Win I.T.
Kalleo Kalle-Row
FNB Bank The FNB Bankaneers
Mid-Continent University Cougars
CFSB CFSB Kasasa Krusaders
Paducah Breast Cancer Heroes Team Paducah  Hits a Home Run for Breast Cancer

Executive Director, Julie Harris says, “once again, we are overwhelmed with the response by the community to the Dragon Boat Races.  Last year’s event was so successful, and the event has grown to nearly 700 paddlers this year!  All but one team is returning to the festival this year and we have 6 new teams, so the field of 32 teams will make for a great event. We hope everyone comes out to enjoy the races!” 

There will be 8 food and drink vendors on hand all day.  Some will serve breakfast items in the morning and then the selection at lunch is everything from BBQ, pizza, hotdogs, burgers chicken sandwiches and vegetable wraps.   Entrance to the festival is free of charge.   

The races will begin at 9am and run until approximately 3:30pm with a 30 minute lunch break.  The races are conducted in heats with 3 teams racing per heat, and each team will race a minimum of two times.  The final heat will be the 15 teams with the lowest times. The race course is 250 meters and is boats will race against the current. 

Last year’s grand prize winner, the MSU Paducah Racers is returning to defend their title.  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.  At the lunch break, there will be a Drummer Fashion Show around Wilson Stage.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 17th through Friday, September 20th, there will be practice sessions for all the teams from 4-7pm at the riverfront.  The public is free to watch those practice sessions.

22Dragons, from Montreal Canada provide the dragon boats and all equipment for the event.   They are one of North America’s largest Dragon Boat producers and operators.