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Dragon Boat Festival is next weekend

SALISBURY — The Third Annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake (6480 Long Ferry Road, Salisbury). Title sponsors are Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Trinity Oaks/Lutheran Services Carolinas.

“The Rowan Chamber is excited to bring this fun event back to our community for the third year,” said Ann Pressly, from Trinity Oaks and 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!”

There are 25 teams registered and over 3,000 people are expected to attend. The event is free to attend; however, no pets, coolers or outside food will be allowed. There will be Dragon Boat races; food vendors; Cheerwine; United Beverages/Miller Beer; and New Sarum Brewery will also have craft beer products available for sale this year.

Schedule for the day:

9 a.m. — Welcoming Remarks

  • Thanks to our sponsors & teams
  • Racing begins
  • Vendor booths open

Noon — Lunch Break

  • Drummer Parade
  • Heads/Tails Game
  • Novant Health Corporate Cup – employee wellness winner presentation

1 p.m. — Afternoon Activities

  • Racing resumes
  • Finalist announced

3:30 p.m. — Awards Presentation

  • Gold, silver and bronze medals presented
  • Thanks to our sponsors & teams

4 p.m. — Adjourn

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and make it a fun lake party. Parking is free and available at Trading Ford Baptist Church at 3600 Long Ferry Road and 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 as you come down Long Ferry Road.

During the noon luncheon break, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center will present the Second Annual Corporate Cup for employee wellness programs. Hitachi Metals won in 2015. The winner for this year will be announced. The Drummer Parade with prizes for the best costume and a Heads & Tails game will also be held during the lunch break.

At the end of the day on Saturday, Olympic style gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented in the top three divisions and gold in the fourth division. Dragon Boat racing dates back to a more than 2,300-year-old tradition from ancient China. Sleek 45-foot boats donned with dragon heads, tails and scales seat 20 paddlers. A drummer sits in the bow pounding the drum to the beat of the paddlers’ strokes, 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 third 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 350-meter straight course.

For more information, please contact the Rowan Chamber at 704-633-4221, info@rowanchamber.com or www.rowanchamberdragonboat.com.

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