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Fifth annual Dragon Boat festival on July 28 on High Rock Lake

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce

SALISBURY— The fifth annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 28 at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake, 6480 Long Ferry Road.

The Dragon Boat Festival is the largest annual event held on High Rock Lake, the second-largest lake in North Carolina.

Viewing is free for spectators. Nearly 3,800 Rowan, Davidson and Stanly County residents came out to watch more than 25 teams compete in 2017.

Besides dragon boat races, food vendors will be joined by local soft drink company Cheerwine as well as Salisbury-based breweries and vineyards.

Entertainment during the lunch break will include a drummer’s parade and raffle.

Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. No pets, coolers or outside food will be allowed.

Parking is by donation and is available in lots adjacent to the Shrine Club. The Salisbury/Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau will provide trolley rides to and from the parking areas.

“The Rowan Chamber is passionate about health and wellness. Strong team building coupled with hosting an event of this magnitude that brings together family fun and competition — all on High Rock Lake, our natural resource here in Rowan County — is a win-win for the community,” said Teresa Dakins, chairwoman of the festival committee.

Pan Am Dragon Boat has been contracted to oversee the competition and provide each team with the necessary equipment, including life vests.

Teams will learn how to paddle during a practice session, which is included in team registration fees.

Each team will need to provide 20 paddlers — at least eight of whom must be female — and a drummer.

On race day, each team will compete in three heats on a 350-meter straight course.

Dragon boat racing dates back to a more than 2,300-year-old tradition in ancient China with 45-foot boats decked with dragon heads, tails and scales that seat 20 paddlers each.

Drummers sit in the bow pounding the drum to the beat of the paddlers’ stroke, and a steer person stands in the stern guiding the team down the race course.

Team sponsorships, as well as corporate partnerships, are available at various levels.

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

Follow the festival at #DragonBoatRowan2018.

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