Second Annual Dragon Boat Festival is Aug. 1

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2015


The Second Annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Shrine Club on High Rock Lake, 6480 Long Ferry Road.

“The Rowan Chamber is excited to bring this fun event back to our community for the second year,” said Ann Pressly (Trinity Oaks), chair of the Dragon Boat Festival Committee. “It highlights our quality of life with abundant water resources, friendly people and unique team building opportunities for businesses. ”

The first year, 16 teams competed. This year, 26 teams are registered and organizers anticipate a crowd of more than 1,500. The event is free to attend, however no coolers or pets will be allowed.

In addition to the Dragon Boat races there will be food vendors, Cheerwine, and United Beverages of NC (Miller Beer) products available for sale. Official Dragon Boat Festival T-shirts will also be available this year. Please bring cash for the food, t-shirts and refreshment vendors.

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and make it a fun lake party. The Kiwanis Club will be helping with parking, which is free and available in adjacent lots to the Shrine Club. The Salisbury/Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide trolley rides to and from the parking areas. Look for the signs along Long Ferry Road.

This year will also feature a “Drummer Parade” during the noon lunch break in racing. All the team drummers will compete to see who can raise the most money for the Chamber’s 50/50 drawing. Awards will be presented to the top drummers. The Dragon Boat Festival is a fund raiser for the Rowan Chamber’s small business programs and services.

At the end of the day on Saturday, Olympic style medals will be presented to the “Gold,” “Silver” and “Bronze” winners in each division. Last year, the winners were: Charlotte Dragon Boat Association (CDBA) Gold in Division A; Novant Health/Pinnacle Orthopedics in Division B; and, the Trinity Oaks Dragon Slayers in Division C. The High Rock Lake Association team rebounded nicely (after being the only team that turned over) and finished second in Division B. F&M’s Strokes of Genius almost beat the CDBA club team and came in second in Division A.

Dragon Boat racing dates back to a more than 2,300-year-old tradition from ancient China. Sleek 45-foot boats adorned with dragon heads, tails and scales seat 20 paddlers. A drummer sits in the bow pounding the drum to the beat of the paddlers’ stroke, and a steersperson stands in the stern guiding the team down the race course.

The Chamber has contracted with High Five Dragon Boat for the second year in a row. High Five will provide each team with all the necessary equipment (boat, paddles, life vests). Teams will learn how to paddle during an introductory practice session (included in team registration fee). Each team will provide 20 paddlers; a minimum of eight must be female, and a drummer. On race day each team will race in three heats on a 350m straight course.

For more information, contact the Rowan Chamber at 704-633-4221 or or

Title sponsors are Trinity Oaks/Lutheran Services Carolinas and Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. Other sponsors include: The Salisbury Post, Duke Energy,Wells Fargo Bank, High Rock Lake Association, Brent Parks, CPA andJohnson Concrete.

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