What is Dragon boating?

Though relatively new to Northeast Ohio, dragon boating is over 2000 years old and one of the fastest growing team water sports in the world. It’s a thrilling ride with 20 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson racing in an authentic 46-foot long Hong Kong style dragon boat. Almost anyone can paddle a dragon boat after a short lesson. It is a sport suited to all ages, genders and skill levels. The key to winning a dragon boat race is to paddle in sync. Muscles are nice, but not nearly as important as the ability to keep time with your paddling partners.

Who can participate? Is this event only for cancer survivors?

Anyone 15 and over can participate! Although several “survivor” teams will be racing, this is a community event, we have corporate and community teams as well.

How do I create a team?

Gather your co-workers, family, friends, church or volunteer group, exercise buddies, etc. ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. You will need 16 to 20 paddlers (plus up to 3 substitutes) and one drummer. Most teams are a mix of men and women and all teams must have a minimum of eight (8) women paddlers. Participants must be at least 15 years old. A minimum deposit can hold a team spot until July 7th. 

Do I need any special equipment?

No. Boats, paddles, life vests and a professional steersperson will be provided. Every registered team will also receive a 60 minute practice paddling session on the water to show you paddling basics, help organize your team in the boat and prepare you for race day. The Festival organizers will also offer lunch and tent rental options to all teams.

What happens on Festival day?

Festival day activities start with a ceremonial eye-dotting “awakening of the dragons.” Once the racing begins, it will be non-stop action with dragon boats heading to the finish line every 12 minutes. The races are fast and furious, typically lasting around two minutes. With entertainment and lots of beach front activities throughout the day Dragons on the Lake Festival will be a summer spectacle for the whole family. Admission is FREE for spectators.

Are there awards?

Yes, and not just for paddling. Ribbons, medals and trophies are awarded for the top spots in each of several categories (community, corporate, survivor). A variety of SPIRIT awards are also presented for things like creative team names, shirts, tent decoration, and “most outrageous drummer costume.”