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Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28

Staff report

SALISBURY — The seventh annual Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, July 24, from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake (6480 Long Ferry Road). Team entries, corporate sponsorships and vendor opportunities are open.

The festival has traditionally been the largest annual spectator event held on High Rock Lake, the second largest lake in North Carolina. The festival includes vendors, food trucks and activities for the whole family.

Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19.

“The dragon boat festival instills team building, family fun and clean competition,” said this year’s event chair Daniel Matangira in a news release. “I have been waiting a long time to defend our 2019 championship with the Matangira Recycling & Cardinal Tire/Gator Bites team. As a local small business owner, this event promotes a true sense of community and is a fundraiser to enhance the Chamber’s resources for small businesses of Rowan County.”

With the recent news of Gov. Roy Cooper lifting capacity and gathering limits, social distancing requirements and most mandatory mask requirements, the festival the place to be on the lake. Deadline for sponsorship is May 28 for inclusion in event marketing materials and T-shirts. Sponsor packages start at $1,500 and increase with benefits and exposure options.

The event is free to attend, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. No pets, coolers or outside food is allowed. Parking is $5 per car and available in adjacent lots to the Shrine Club. Rowan Tourism will provide trolley rides between the parking areas and the Shrine Club property. Boats are welcome to view from the main channel or can dock behind the Shrine Club.

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.

For more information or corporate sponsorships, call the Rowan Chamber at 704-633-4221, email info@rowanchamber.com or visit www.rowanchamberdragonboat.org or follow #DragonBoatRowan.

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