ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - From the Rowan Chamber: You don’t want to miss the Sixth Annual Rowan Chamber DragonBoat Festival to be held on Sat., July 27, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake (6480 Long Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC).
The Rowan Chamber Dragon Boat Festival is the largest annual event held on High Rock Lake, the second largest lake in North Carolina. A parklike atmosphere and viewing are free for spectators, with more than 3,500 attendees expected to watch over 30 teams compete.
“We are thrilled with the positive growth of the Dragon Boat Festival, now in its sixth year. The Rowan Chamber is passionate about incorporating health and wellness into its programming. A strong event such as the Dragon Boat Festival on High Rock Lake instils teambuilding, family fun and clean-competition,” said Teresa Dakins, (Trinity at Home) chair of the Rowan County DragonBoat Festival Committee.
The event title sponsors showcase major employers in Rowan County with Hotwire Communications, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Trinity Senior Services of Rowan.
The event is free to attend, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and make it a fun lakeside party. However, 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 iconic 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.
ABOUT THE COMPETITON:
There will be over 30 teams competing. The event has grown from 16 teams the first year to over 30 teams last year. Previous teams have included: Anchors Down/Anchors Up; Atrium Health/Healing Waters; Charlotte Dragon Boat/Charlotte Fury; Dragon Boat Beaufort, SC; DragonBoat at the Beach/Beaufort, SC; 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; NC 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 DragonSlayers; and, VA Hospital/VAEA Warriors.
Itinerary for the day:
9 a.m. Dragon Boat Heat Racing Starts
12 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 350m straight course.
Olympic style medals will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in each division. An over-all 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’ sleek boats donned withdragon 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.