Join the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club and Springfield Dragon Rays as we host the 9th Annual Springfield Dragon Boat Festival at North Riverfront Park with paddlers set to show off their skills during a series of races and other festivities held throughout the day. Our Asian-themed festival includes races by premier dragon boat club teams, entertainment, music, food and vendors, as well as a Rose Ceremony to commemorate those loved ones we have lost to cancer, and particularly breast cancer. Come for the racing, stay for the day. Rain or shine!
Admission is free for spectators to enjoy the dragon boat racing, food trucks, cultural performances, and more!
Since dragon boat racing originated in China, many aspects of the festival will have an Asian flair.
Long and narrow, a dragon boat is 40 feet by 4 feet. It’s manned by paddlers, sitting two by two. A drummer, up front, keeps cadence and sets the pace. Standing at the back, a steersman, known as the “steer,” controls the direction of the boat with a single, large oar.
A dragon boat festival team is comprised of paddlers who race against other teams in 200-meter races on the Connecticut River. Each race lasts about one minute and each team races at least three times on the day of the festival, and medals are awarded!
A Dragon Boat is a 20-person Chinese war canoe (see below). The Dragon Boat Challenge is a series of friendly, fun races between groups, companies, organizations, etc. assembled to compete for one day at the Springfield Dragon Boat Festival.
It’s a sport about which its participants are passionate!
Festival proceeds benefit the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, a Springfield non-profit connecting people with healthy riverfront activity.