Dragon Boat Festival gears up for July 28
Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 22, 2018
SALISBURY — the Fifth Annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival to be held on Saturday, July 28, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake, 6480 Long Ferry Road, Salisbury.
The festival is the largest annual event held on High Rock Lake, the second largest lake in North Carolina. A parklike atmosphere and viewing is free for spectators, with more than 3,500 attendees expected to watch the 30 teams compete.
“The Rowan Chamber is passionate about health and wellness; strong teambuilding 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, Trinity at Home, chair of the Rowan County Dragon Boat Festival Committee.
The event title sponsors showcase the business climate of Rowan County with Hotwire Communications, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Trinity Senior Services of Rowan.
Additional sponsors include Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, Rowan County Tourism Development Authority, Salisbury Post, Atrium Health, Cube Hydro Carolinas, Duke Energy, Brent Parks, CPA; Luke Fisher, Fisher Realty Inc.; and High Rock Lake Association.
The event is free to attend and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. No pets, coolers nor outside food will be allowed. Parking is by donation and available in adjacent lots to the Shrine Club. Or you can come by boat on High Rock Lake. Rowan Tourism will provide trolley rides between the parking areas and the Shrine Club property.
Besides the actual competition of the colorful Dragon Boat races; food vendors will be joined by local soft drink company Cheerwine, as well as Salisbury-based breweries and vineyards. There will be entertainment during the lunch break with a Drummer’s Parade and Heads/Tails game. A raffle for kayaks and other water sports equipment will be awarded at the end of the day.
There are 30 teams registered to compete, which is a record number. The event has grown from 16 teams its first year to 25 teams the past two years and now 30 teams have entered for the fifth anniversary. Teams include Anchors Down/Anchors Up; Atrium Health/Healing Waters; Charlotte Dragon Boat/Charlotte Fury; Dragon Boat Beaufort, S.C.; Dragon Boat at the Beach/Beaufort, S.C.; Healing Dragons of Charlotte; Paddle Me Again; The Cut Up’s; Boats & Rows; Blazing Paddles; Cube Hydro; Daimler Trucks/Daimler Dragons; Daimler Trucks/Western Star Warriors; Duke Energy; F&M Bank/Strokes of Genius; Hotwire Communications/Imagine Dragons; Johnson Concrete & Chandler Concrete/Concrete Draggin’; Matangira Recycling & Cardinal Tire/Gator Bites; N.C. Transportation Museum/Rail City Rowers; Novant Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine/Sync or Swim; Novant Health Rowan Medical Center/Novant Health Lifeboat; Power Curbers/Power Paddlers; Rowan County Gov./Rowan Rockin’ Rowers; Rowan-Cabarrus Community College/The Navigators; Salisbury Pride/This is Us; Salisbury Rowan Runners Club/SRRius Wave Runners; Salisbury-Rowan Utilities/Aqua-Haulics; Organized Chaos Ladies/The XX Factor; Trinity Senior Services of Rowan/Trinity Oaks Dragon Slayers; and, VA Hospital/VAEA Warriors.
Itinerary for the day:
9 a.m. — Dragon Boat heat racing starts
Noon — Lunch break – Drummer Parade; Heads/Tails Game
1 p.m. — Dragon Boat racing continues
3:30 p.m. — Finalist race
4 p.m. — Awards presentation
PanAm Dragon Boat has been contracted to oversee the competition and provide each team with all the necessary equipment (boat, paddles, life vests). Teams learn how to paddle during an introductory practice session. Each team has 20 paddlers (a minimum of eight must be female), and a drummer. On race day, each team will compete in three heats on a 350-meter straight course.
Olympic-style medals will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place winners in each division. An overall champion will be named after the finalist race. Novant Health will also present the Corporate Cup traveling trophy to an organization or business with the best workplace wellness program.
Dragon Boat racing is a 2,300-year-old tradition from Ancient China with 45-foot sleek boats donned with dragon heads, tails and scales that seat 20 paddlers each. Colorful drummers sit 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 water race course.