News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
City of Fort Wayne to host first-ever Dragon Boat Races
(May 27, 2015) – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced the City of Fort Wayne will host the first-ever Dragon Boat Races in our community as part of the Riverpalooza festivities to take place May 29-30 at Headwaters Park West.
The unique event will be presented by the Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council and is designed to provide an event for the public to enjoy the outdoors, our rivers, and all that our City has to offer.
Dragon Boat Racing is a rapidly growing sport that combines rich Chinese traditions, competition, teamwork and fun. Often, dragon boats are emblazoned with bright colors, dragon scales, and a dragon head and tail. Typical dragon boats are 46 inches long and feature 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steersman. During the course of the race, the job of the drummer is to keep an effective beat in order to synchronize the paddlers. Actual races are usually between 200-2000 meters and can last up to 10 minutes.
Teams will race a 300 meter course on the St. Marys River beginning at Headwaters Park West and ending at the Wells Street Bridge.
“Having activities along the rivers are important as we continue our commitment to riverfront development and future opportunities along our riverfront,” said Mayor Henry. “It’s part of what makes Fort Wayne a leader in quality of place and a destination for residents, businesses, and visitors.”
Events on Friday, May 29:
- Live music and food
- Opening ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by the Chinese ritual of “Blessing of the Boats”
Events on Saturday, May 30:
- Dragon boat races begin at 9 a.m. with an awards ceremony to follow
- Live music, food, play area for children, face painting
The title sponsor for the event is Parkview Health. Participating sponsors are Greater Fort Wayne Inc., Lincoln Financial Group, and Steel Dynamics. The media sponsor is 21Alive. For more information, visit https://riverpaloozafw.org/.