A roar of cheers rises from the shore, mingled with the sound of rhythmic drum beats. In each boat, rows of up to 20 fiercely paddling men and women compete in 500 meter and 250 meter races.
Tents, arts and crafts, colorful parades and dragons, Warrior Shaolin Monks, traditional music and dance, it’s not the coast of the East China Sea, it’s Flushing’s “Meadow Lake” in Queens, NYC.
From across North America, serious dragon boat teams come to New York City to test their training and skills in both traditional wooden or fiberglass canoe-like crafts. But this Dragon Boat event is not just for the pros. Sponsored by various companies, local organizations put together 14 member crews along with charities and non-profit organizations to compete in spirit.
While the overall theme may be Chinese, the entire festival is a family oriented multi-cultural event from Broadway tunes to Mariachi bands, children’s kite making and face painting, and all smiling faces and good times.
Hong Kong Festival Race Team Manager Kenny Chen hits the mark, “It’s all about teamwork, friendship and a whole lot of fun.”
Get ready for next summer:
(After years of sharing Flushing Meadow’s Lake and Boathouse with The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival of New York, TASCA (The American Small Craft Association), proudly introduced a Dragon Boat team of their own, The TASCA Vikings.) http://www.sailtasca.org/
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