EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — The 2016 Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 6.
- What: Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival by Mayo Clinic Health System
- Where: Half Moon Beach in Eau Claire
- When: Saturday, Aug. 6
- 9 a.m. — Qualifying races
- 11:15 a.m. — Opening ceremony and parade
- 12 p.m. — Semifinal races
- 2:15 p.m. — Remembrance ceremony
- 2:45 p.m. — Final races
- 5 p.m. — Team medals and awards presentation
- Cost: The free event will feature music and kid’s activities. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.
- Supporting: The event will raise awareness of hospice care.
- Fifty-two teams, comprised of more than 1,300 members are competing, many with a personal connection to hospice.
- Each team has 21 participants, including 20 paddlers and one drummer. A steersperson also is provided for each team.
- Race course is 250 meters, and each race lasts less than two minutes.
- In addition to a trophy for first place and medals for final heat winners, three spirit awards will be given: team spirit, best-decorated team tent and best-dressed drummer.
Volunteers are still needed:
- More than 200 volunteers support the festival.
- Visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org/halfmoondragon, and click on volunteer to sign up.
What is dragon boat racing?:
- Equal parts sport and spectacle, dragon boat racing is a team event with roots in ancient China.
- In the last 25 years, dragon boat racing has been revitalized and is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world.
- A dragon boat is a long, colorful boat with a delicate and ornate head and tail.
- Hong Kong-style boats race point to point with the winner determined by which dragon’s nose crosses the finish line first.
- Dragon boat racing is for men and women of all ages and athletic abilities.
Bigger and better:
- Anna Sizer, director of Community Development, says, “The second annual Half Moon Dragon Boat Festival supports hospice services throughout our region. We are looking forward to a bigger event this year. We’ve added 19 teams this year competing. In addition, we are providing more variety in our food vendors, and more family activities.”
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Mayo Clinic Health System consists of clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities that serve the health care needs of people in 60 communities in Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest-quality health care close to home.