Registration opens Sunday, February 15 for the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival to be held July 17th and 18th at Copeland Park in La Crosse, Wis. For complete event details and to register, visit the race webpage.
The Big Blue Dragon Boat Race has grown into a two-day festival that supports breast cancer survivors while promoting community health and teamwork. All proceeds from the event are kept local and support the Center for Breast Care at Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare. Area women served by programs on breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship will benefit from the funds raised.
The Festival will begin on Friday, July 17 with opening ceremonies as well as fun exhibition races and entertainment. On Saturday, July 18, 60 teams will race head to head on the Black River. There will be three racing divisions: Community, Corporate and Breast Cancer Survivors. Teams will be able to select their competition level: novice, intermediate or experienced. Family-friendly activities, entertainment and a variety of food and retail vendors will add to the festive atmosphere in the park.
Equal parts sporting event and spectacle, dragon boating is a team sport that has its roots in ancient China. In the last 25 years, dragon boating has been revitalized and is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. A dragon boat is a long, colorful boat similar to a racing canoe. Each boat is propelled by a crew of 20 paddlers, plus a drummer and a steer person.