The Save-on-Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival is a premier festival for both paddlers and spectators. Maffeo Sutton Park, in the heart of Nanaimo, bursts with the colour, sounds and energy of approximately 85 Dragon Boat teams from all over the region. From the paddlers village, nicely positioned on a grassy area in the middle of the park, to a sand-lined lagoon and optimum spectator vantage points and a wide array of vendors, this festival truly does boast something for everyone.
This year’s theme is Vikings and there isn’t a group who doesn’t embrace a theme quite like dragon boaters do. Their resilience, passion for life, and light-hearted competitive spirit collides for one of the best “Feel Good” events this city hosts.
Dragon Boating is steeped in tradition, from the blessing of the boats at the Opening Ceremony to the always emotional Carnation Ceremony on the Sunday where Breast Cancer Survivor Teams band their boats together and throw symbolic pink carnations into the water. There’s a quirky side to Dragon Boating tradition as well; check out Kait’s Quirks’s blog post for more details.
Some highlight events include:
Saturday, July 11th, 2015
Noon – Opening Ceremonies, Swy-a-Lana Lagoon
1pm – Dragon Boat Racing Begins
Sunday, July 12th, 2015
8am – Shriner’s Pancake Breakfast
8:30am – Dragon Boat Racing begins
Noon – Carnation Ceremony
5pm – Awards Ceremony in the Beer Gardens
For more information about the races, check out the official website at: www.nanaimodragonboat.com
Photo and featured image credits to Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival