Two dozen teams expected for Aug. 9 and 10 Dragon Boat Festival
ORIENTAL — This land of dragons welcomes DRAGON BOATS AND DRAGON TAMERS on August 9-10 for the Oriental Dragon Boat Festival. It’s our fourth year for the Dragons splashing and clashing in all the waters of Oriental. The weather last year proved to be almost too much for these amazing long, skinny vessels!
Even in the best of conditions, the low freeboard makes for a wet ride. This year we are not trying to outsmart Mother Nature, but we are adding an opportunity to enjoy two days combined with a unique location that enables our teams to have great racing
On Friday, Aug. 9, we are honoring and celebrating our military men and women with the first of two activity-filled days. Festival organizers want to thank our local “Community Outreach Partners” who are funding fun and relaxation for these US Armed Forces Teams!
Supporting entire teams are: PotashCorp-Aurora; Carolina East Medical Center; Denton Pharmacy/Croakertown Shops; Deaton Boatyards; Yachtsman Canvas and Sail; and, Dr.John and Peggy Weinerth from the Neuse Winds subdivision.
We have many other teams who are calling and would like to participate. On Friday, these military teams will launch our Oriental Dragon Boat Festival with timed trials in preparation for the race on Saturday. Later, in the afternoon, we have 250-meter ‘Rickshaw Races,’ followed by designated swimmers from each team who will rescue ‘Floating Dragons’ from the mighty Neuse River. Friday ends with entertainment (to be announced) and Chinese Fireworks.
Our Festival has desperately needed a better venue in which to race. Early in the season we lost two in-state teams who did not want to paddle again with the chance of capsizing.
Heeding our desire to offer a more protected waterway – thus ensuring the safety of our participants – River Dunes has graciously agreed to provide much of Grace Harbor for Saturday’s Oriental Dragon Boat Activities and Races.
In addition to the venue, River Dunes will participate as the ‘Community Outreach Partner’ for the Heart Works Team this year.
Saturday’s activities begin at 8:45 am with a Parade of Teams, Opening Remarks, and Dotting of the Dragon Eye ceremony. Races begin at 10 a.m. and are expected to conclude about 3 p.m. Great food and entertainment will take place throughout the day with the Awards Ceremony scheduled about 4 p.m.
Go to www.orientaldragonboat.com to see the full schedule of activities on both days. Funding an entire Dragon Boat team as a ‘Community Outreach Sponsor’ is a tax-deductible contribution of just $800. Local citizens who wish to support an individual military man or woman may do so with a $45 donation. Contact Flora Moorman at 252-675-9424 for more information, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.