Dragon boat paddlers make their way through the Selkirk waters during a practise night. The annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival takes over the Inner Harbour this weekend, Friday through Sunday, with races and land-based elements. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

24th annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival hitting the water

Races, music, food and more will take up Ship Point this weekend

Drums, dragons and hundreds of paddlers descend on Victoria’s Inner Harbour this weekend for the 24th annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.

From Friday through Sunday (Aug. 10 to 12), over 70 teams from across the Pacific Northwest will compete in races paying homage to a Chinese tradition that’s been practised for over 2,000 years.

The event kicks off on Friday at 1 p.m. with a blessing from a Taoist priest from Vancouver, as well as the dotting of the eyes of the dragon-headed helms to “awaken the dragons.”

Paddlers span all ages and abilities and the teams include one stocked with those 50-over, another whose members are all visually impaired, and Victoria’s newest mixed team made up entirely of cancer survivors.

RELATED: Mixed dragon boat pulls cancer survivors together

“It’s for all ages, all physical abilities,” said Jennifer Loo, sponsor-developer for the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club. “Dragon boats are very inclusive, so it’s a wonderful community of paddlers.”

This popular event is Canada’s only dragon boat race run in a working harbour, and aside from excitement on the water, it also offers an international food court, a beer garden and live bands.

The event’s longest-running sponsor, Fairway Market, is also selling lanterns for $2 with all funds going to the BC Cancer Foundation. The lanterns will be lit and displayed along Ship Point for the Lights of Courage display on Friday at 9 p.m.

“We invite people to come back on Friday to hang the lanterns and spend a moment with everyone to celebrate someone’s life,” Loo said.

Bleachers will be set up on the parking lot at Ship Point to allow spectators to see the races better. For more information and to see the weekend schedule, you can visit victoriadragonboat.com.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
and Instagram

 

Tyler Cu, left, peers around trying to see as Ashley Chu, centre, and Yuto Loo dot the eye of a dragon head on a dragon boat during the traditional eye dotting ceremony to start the 22nd Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival at Ship Point in the inner Harbour. File photo

Drummers, from left, from the drum group Uminara, Gayle Nye, Tsugio Kurushima and Ken Murata perform during the traditional eye dotting ceremony to start the 22nd Annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival at Ship Point in the inner Harbour. Hidden at back is drummer Susan Kurushima. Don Denton/Victoria News

Just Posted

Deep Island connection for indie rockers Half Moon Run

Montreal-based band brings their dreamy sound to Victoria for Jan. 14 show at the Royal

Have your New Year’s Eve set? Try out these musical gala options

Greater Victoria venues featuring local bands to ring in 2020

Ladysmith set to star in new Syfy series, Resident Alien

Island town will play the role of Patience, Colo. in the series

Jim Cuddy Band members turn trio for next Victoria show

Jan. 11 stop at the McPherson Playhouse part of the Countrywide Soul tour

The Strumbellas grow their award-winning sound organically

Juno-winning band makes a rare West Coast appearance at the Royal Theatre for Jan. 9 concert

Fashion Fridays: A masterclass on H&M knitwear

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Homespun’ brings six Greater Victoria artists together for genre-bending music

Highlands Music Coffee House returns Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

B.C. family’s ‘Feud’ game-show trip was ‘meant to happen’ after father’s death

Surrey resident Atish Ram’s departed father ‘loved game shows’

‘Jurassic World 3’ will film in Metro Vancouver under working title ‘Arcadia’

Filming is set to take place between Feb. 24 and March 6, 2020

Bursary created in memory of late Duncan musician triples in second year

Young Vancouver Island musicians in financial need can apply by Dec. 15

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Yellowpoint holiday spectacle returns this weekend

Musical variety show offers a wide range of genres, along with many of your seasonal favourites

Most Read