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Fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival happening Saturday

 

SALISBURY — The fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival, hosted by the Rowan Chamber of Commerce at High Rock Lake, kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The festival, which started as a team-building event for the chamber, has turned into a day of fun for the entire community.

“This year we have 25 teams. The first year we had 16, so we’re really pleased by the number of teams and the diversity of the teams this year,” Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Spalding said.

The teams range from dragon-boat club teams to corporate-sponsored teams. Spalding said that, for several of them, this will be their first time competing in the Salisbury festival.

Spalding said that in addition to vendors that have participated in previous festivals, including United Beverages and New Serum Brewing, Morgan Ridge Brewery and Eatery will offer a selection of its beers and wines.

Even though the registration window for teams closed Monday, there are still several ways people can get involved, she said.

“We have a few spots left on the Young Professionals team, so if anyone is gung-ho about joining, we have a place for them,” Spalding said.

Anyone who wants to sign up as an individual paddler will be guaranteed a place on a team, she said.

The registration fee for an individual paddler is $45.

People can also get involved by volunteering. Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt and several coupons that can be used at vendors’ booths.

Registration for both individual paddlers and volunteers can be found at the Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival website, http://www.rowanchamberdragonboat.com/.

Even if people are not interested in being involved, Spalding said, everyone is invited to come watch the races.

“Just come and have a fun day on the lake and enjoy the race,” Spalding said. “We want to invite everyone to join us.”

There is no fee to attend the festival as a spectator. Spalding said pets and coolers of food or drink will not be allowed inside.

The festival will take place at the Rowan Shrine Club on High Rock Lake, 6480 Long Ferry Road in Salisbury. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.

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