Regina’s Annual Dragon Boat Festival
The Regina Dragon Boat Festival Inc. is a volunteer-run, not for profit organization established to foster better understanding, appreciation and awareness of Asian culture and heritage within our community.
In 1992, the International Ching Chung Taoist Church presented a dragon Boat to Regina’s Festival, the same year the organization was established. Now, in its 26th year, the Regina Dragon Boat Festival has developed strong community and corporate support.
Regina’s festival begins Friday evening with the “Awakening of the Dragons” Opening Ceremony. This ceremony is performed by a Taoist Priest and consists of dotting the bulging eyes of the carved dragon head attached to the boat, in the sense of ending its slumber and re-energizing its spirit.
The Dragon Boat races run non-stop on Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm. Teams compete in 48 foot dragon boats equipped with dragon heads and tails in both competitive and recreational divisions. While thousands of people cheer on paddlers, thousands of others fill Wascana Park to enjoy the international food, cultural entertainment, children’s activities and the Dragon’s Lair Tent, a licensed venue offering live entertainment perfect for getting out of the sun or rain and accommodates approximately 2,000 people.
Dragon Boating – the Mass Participation Paddle Sport For All Ages and Abilities.
As well as sport racing, Dragon Boat Associations have helped to develop the Festival racing side of Dragon Boating. Many Festival Races are successful due to the number of crews that enter just for the fun and excitement of the event. One of the advantages of Dragon Boating is that you can form a Festival Crew (or fun team, as they are sometimes known) with little experience and knowledge, and quickly become competitive in a Dragon Boat. A lot of Festival crews come from the corporate market and compete in Festival Dragon Boat Racing because it is also a social event and a team building activity in which the strengths and abilities of employees are soon apparent.
The growth in the Festival racing scene is enormous. There are now event organizing companies world-wide whose sole purpose is to organize dragon boat festival races each year. This is particularly true in Canada and the USA, where Sport Racing Crews also race in the Festival Races.
Dragon Boating is the mass participation paddle sport of today, with an ancient past and a very bright future. Dragon Boat Racing is a ‘team sport’; a very social sport and great fun too! Attractive to the corporate market and as a ‘community activity’ it is also a high performance sport for elite standard athletes. Dragon Boating is a sport and recreational activity that can be pursued by everyone and anyone of all abilities and at every level of competition. That is the greatness of Dragon Boating.
Plan now to be a part of the Regina Dragon Boat Festival in Wascana Park. There truly is something for everyone.