Paducah Dragon Boat Festival Gets Top Honors

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Paducah Dragon Boat races earn silver for 'Best Festival'

EJ Abell (from left), Julie Harris and Dana Marvin of the River Discover Center in Paducah accept the silver award for Best Festival on behalf of the Paducah Dragon Boat Festival from the Southeast Festival and Events Association in Lexington on Tuesday. 

The ceremony was held Tuesday in conjunction with the 14th annual SFEA Conference.

Top festivals and events throughout the Southeast were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the events industry.

A call for entries was posted last fall, and all festivals and events within the Southeast are encouraged to enter. A panel of judges from event planning, marketing and tourism reviewed the entries looking for originality, creativity, media impact, volunteer programs, and the overall impact to the community.

The Paducah Dragon Boat Festival, now in its sixth year, has raised over $300,000 for the River Discovery Center. The festival attendance annually is over 6,000 for the daylong event and typically has 25-30 teams participating in the races.

"We are thrilled with this award and with the success of the event each year," said Julie Harris, executive director of the River Discovery Center. "The event has allowed us to grow our programming and bring more relevant experiences to the school children in western Kentucky.

This year's festival is Sept. 23, and anyone interested in participating can call 270-575-9958.

The River Discovery Center is located at 117 S. Water St. in downtown Paducah.