Dragons and drums will reverberate throughout Burlington’s Waterfront Park for the seventh annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, Aug. 5 to benefit Survivorship NOW, Dragonheart Vermont’s Cancer Wellness Initiative.
Nearly 2,000 paddlers representing local businesses, organizations, families, and friends along with breast cancer survivor teams from the US and Canada will join Dragonheart Vermont in this day-long community celebration. Teams compete for fundraising, speed, and spirit in outrageous attire, songs, cheers, and chants.
“The SS Minnow,” captained by Shelburne’s Maura Crawford will be among the teams racing for fun and fundraising at the festival. The SS Minnow crew includes Lisa Stanton, Mark Stanton, Andrew Charpentier, Tara Mathews, Max Keve, Will Keve of Shelburne, Marc Nadeau of Shelburne, Tom Mathews of Hinesburg, Mary Bouchard, Taja Hall, Cynthia Hall, James Hall, Sarah Hayes, Lenore Hayes, Brit Kurtz, Steve McGuire, Elizabeth Pratt, Luke Rixon of Hinesburg, and Louise Stanton.
Races, food, and festivities begin at 8 am and last all day long. Each race features five lanes of colorful dragon boats carrying 21 paddlers each and will start every 12 minutes until the champion team is crowned in the final sprint for glory at 4 pm.
It’s an all-day celebration with lots of free fun for the whole family. Entertainment includes Burlington’s Taiko Drummers, Sambatucada, Maiden Vermont and the Jeh Kulu Drummers. Bid high on a huge selection of silent auction items. Raffles, including a Hornbeck double paddle canoe valued at $1,295 will be drawn. Unique merchandise, children’s crafts, and fabulous food combine to create an exciting, fun filled day for all. At noon a very special flower ceremony performed by the breast cancer survivor teams will honor the spirit of those who have died from breast cancer.
Dragonheart’s festival fundraising efforts will fund the Survivorship NOW initiative, wellness programs which help cancer survivors bridge the gap between treatment and living an active life after cancer. Survivorship NOW offers exercise programs and healthy living workshops, and most classes are free. Visit www.survivorshipnowvt.org for complete information. All donations are welcome and appreciated.
“We couldn’t put this on without the amazing community support from our sponsors, local businesses and of course the enthusiastic athletes themselves,” says Linda Dyer, the Executive Director of Dragonheart Vermont. “Getting a cancer diagnosis really focuses on what is important in life and this festival exemplifies living life to its fullest. We hope everyone will come down to cheer on our racers, enjoy the festivities, and support Survivorship NOW.”
Admission is free but donations are encouraged. Visit www.ridethedragon.org for complete festival information.