First Annual Inaugural Dragon Boat Festival & Asian Cultural Celebration

The Great Miami Rowing Center will host the area’s First Inaugural Dragon Boat Festival & Asian Cultural Celebration on August 20 at RiversEdge amphitheater located at 116 Dayton St., Hamilton, OH from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The boating teams are expected to consist of 15-25 paddlers per boat with a drummer setting the pace of the rowing and steer person in the rear.

The history of Dragon Boating finds its origins in China, over 2500 years ago, but for the first time in the greater Cincinnati area, there will be a full day of festivities centered on the Great Miami River, this sporting event, and the Asian culture that created it.

As the name suggests, each boat is decorated with a dragon head and tail. The races are typically 500 meters, and take between two to three minutes to complete. Teams and paddlers are not required to have prior rowing or Dragon Boat experience.

The Confucius Institute of Miami University will provide cultural experiences including a Kung Fu Demonstration and learning session, musical and dance performances, and traditional Chinese costumes and foods.

“We saw an opportunity to get Hamilton and Greater Cincinnati to come together for a day of community-building, culture-sharing, and of course, Dragon Boat Racing. The spirit of the race tends to inspire the wacky, adventure-seeking spirit of everyone involved. Teams bond, families experience new cultures, and everyone gets to see a new side of Hamilton and the Great Miami River,” said Emilie Graham Westcott, Festival Director and GMRC Board Member.

In 2007, community revival efforts in Hamilton served as the catalyst to creating the non-profit entity, the Great Miami Rowing Center. The GMRC runs classes and teams for all ages. High schoolers are often found doing homework at the GMRC before their practices and adults use the facility’s services to stay fit and find a sense of community.

Hamilton’s festival will provide community support to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine Division, and the Great Miami Rowing Center. Contributions from participating teams will provide improved access to healthcare and sporting facilities.

This family friendly is a free event. It will feature food vendors, spectacular racing, and fun cultural activities.

Have a great time. dragon-1306914_1920-2Let me know what you think about this event.

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