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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Dragon Boat Race and Festival Set for the Holiday Weekend: Saturday, July 5, 8am until 4pm in Poughkeepsie, NY

Dragon Boat launch; photo: Doug Nobilett

Dutchess County Tourism sponsors the first Dragon Boat Race and Festival in the county on Saturday, July 5, 2014, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Twenty-four teams will compete on a 200-meter course, and one will emerge as Dragon Boat Champion. The event takes place at the community boathouse of the Hudson River Rowing Association in Poughkeepsie.

A Dragon Boat is a 40-foot-long fiberglass “canoe” featuring a carved painted dragon head on the front, a wooden tail on the back, and scales painted on the hull. The paddles symbolically represent the dragon’s claws, which stretch out from the four-foot wide hull. 22 Dragons, a club from Montreal, Canada, is providing the boats, equipment, training, experienced steering staff, and a safety review before the race.

During the races, visitors along the shoreline can enjoy the Asian Cultural Festival, featuring staged performances, Taiko Drumming, table tennis, sushi and cooking demos. Arts and crafts workshops will also be offered, including temporary dragon tattoos, kite making and origami. People of all ages can enjoy a day of friendly competition, and a broad range of local food and beverage vendors on the festival grounds.

To see biographical profiles of each participating team, visit All proceeds from the event benefit Arts Mid-Hudson ( and the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation (

The Hudson River Rowing Association is located at 270-272 N. Water St. in Poughkeepsie, NY. For more information, visit or