Dragon Boat Races on Riverfront Saturday
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The River Discovery Center is looking forward to 26 local teams that will participate in the first annual Paducah Dragon Boat Festival, to be held at Paducah’s riverfront this Saturday, Sept. 22.
Executive Director Julie Harris said, “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 support the educational programs of the center. There will be food, drinks and other vendors on hand all day. Entrance to the festival is free of charge.
The races will begin at 9 am and run until approximately 4 pm 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 with boats racing against the current.
Trophies will be awarded to the top three 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.
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, and 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, WSPD-TV and WKYX. In addition to the sponsors, there are 20 more corporations and non-profit organizations with teams.
22 "dragons" from Montreal, Canada will be overseeing the event. They are one of North America's largest dragon boat producers and operators.
You can visit the River Discovery Center at 117 South Water Street in downtown Paducah, or go to the website at www.riverdiscoverycenter.org