The dragons are set to race down the Ohio River on September 7. This is the 1st annual Louisville Dragon Boat Race Festival and it is an extremely popular event that is sure to entice the entire community. Louisville is extremely lucky to have landed this festival, as witnessed by Pan American Dragon Boat President Mike Kerkmann. He says “Louisville’s fabulous waterfront park system along with the majesty of the Ohio River make for a perfect venue for this ancient Chinese based sport festival.” Kudos Waterfront Development Corporation and Mayor Greg Fischer for striving so hard to bring this festival to our beautiful city.
I am so intrigued by this festival. I think of Chinese New Year festivities every time I think about it. When I first learned it was coming to Louisville, I just imagined huge parade floats like you might see in the Pegasus Parade, but floating out on the water. It just has a majestic feel to it and I can’t wait to be a spectator for this festival. Some facts about the dragon boats: they are 48 feet long and are canoe-like boats that are elaborately splashed with color. They hold a crew of 20 paddlers, a drummer who sits at the bow, and are guided by a steersperson at the back of the boat.
In order for the Louisville Dragon Boat Race Festival to actually be a race, it needs people who will paddle the boats and participate in the race as teams competing against other teams from other cities. It’s a great team-building sport and is a great match for church groups, corporations, families, and non-profit groups. There is no experience required and all the equipment needed to participate in the race is provided. For more information, visit www.louisvilledragonboat.com or call 800-368-6851. This event is made in part with the collaboration of the Pan American Dragon Boat Association and the Louisville Sports Commission. Follow these organizations at the following links:
Image courtesy of www.panamdragonboat.com