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Fort Wayne Dragon Boat Races 2023

08/13/2023  |  BY RFW

Riverfront Fort Wayne and Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation are now planning the 5th Annual Dragon Boat Races (Tentative dates-August 2 & 3, 2024).  See below to learn more about how you can be involved!

Check out Parking Options at Visit Fort Wayne.


Dragon Boat History

Dragon Boat Racing is a rapidly growing sport that combines rich Chinese traditions, competition, team building exercises, and fun. Often, dragon boats are emblazoned with bright colors, dragon scales, which includes a dragon head and tail. Typical dragon boats are 46’ long and feature 20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and 1 steersman. During the course of the race, the job of the drummer is to keep an effective beat in order to synchronize the paddlers. Races are usually between 200-2000 meters and can last up to 10 minutes. 

Many of the traditional Chinese elements are still practiced today, such as beating of the drums and throwing rice into the river. A common practice for many Dragon Boat Race opening ceremonies includes a practice known as “Awakening the Dragon”. Before each race, the dragon eyes are dotted. It is believed that once the eyes are dotted, the dragon will come to life. We are fortunate to have the opening ceremonies performed by the Fort Wayne Chinese Friends and Family Association.


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