Third Annual Dragon Boat Festival “FEED THE DRAGON” Now Accepting Team Registrations Community Event Benefits Regional Food Bank
Team registrations are now being accepted for Feed The Dragon, the third annual Dragon Boat Festival to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. The Festival, scheduled for Sunday, July 24th from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Dragons Alive headquarters at Mohawk Valley Marine in Alplaus, showcases dragon boating, the fastest growing water sport in the world.
The registration fee of $2000 includes a practice session before the race event, where teams compete in 40-foot dragon boats of twenty paddlers plus a drummer. Coaches and steerspeople for practices and race day, warm-up exercises, boats, personal flotation devices, and paddles are all provided as part of the registration fee. For a registration form and more information, visit Dragons Alive newly launched website at www.dragonsalive.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016 event will include Dragon Boat race heats, medals for all participants, food, music and fun activities for participants, community members and families.
“Participating in the festival was amazing…most of us had never heard of dragon boating,” said one 2015 paddler. “Now we are hip to one of the fastest-growing sports in the world!”
“We brainstormed team names, designed t-shirts, found fun ways to decorate our tent, and covered ourselves with fancy dragon tattoos,” said another paddler.
“In addition to raising money for the Regional Food Bank, we hope that the festival will introduce people to Dragon Boating, and to the many opportunities for enjoying the Mohawk River,” said Eileen Eglin, President of Dragons Alive. “Many team members, accustomed to watching their kids’ sporting events from the sidelines, were excited to BE the athlete.”
Feed the Dragon is an annual community festival put on by Dragons Alive in conjunction with Mohawk Valley Marine, that benefits the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York’s Farm in Voorheesville. It is open to any organization or group which can field a team of 20 paddlers and a drummer over the age of 18. No prior experience paddling a Dragon Boat is needed.
The sport of dragon boating originated in China in the 5th or 6th century, according to the Smithsonian Magazine, possibly as either a military exercise or as a ritual meant to appease the Dragon, protector of rivers, water and rain. It has grown in popularity around the world, and the Capital Region now supports two teams.
Founded in the year of the Dragon, January 2012, Dragons Alive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dragon boating team that paddles together every Monday and Thursday evening, as soon as the water opens until the end of the season when the team stores its boat for the winter.