Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dragon Boats Fest

Click to Watch: Dragon Boats Fest

Goodwill dragon boat festival celebrates Asian-American culture

The annual GoodBoats for Goodwill dragon boat race and cultural festival returns for its fourth year to Augusta’s Lake Olmstead Park from 9  a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and teams are being signed up to take on the challenge of “paddling for a purpose.”

The competition features first-time, amateur and professional paddlers who will take turns racing the colorful 20-person dragon boats starting at 9:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. Additional activities at the park include a festival showcasing Asian traditions such as the blessing of the boats and “Painting of the Dragon Eye.” 

Chinese cultural acts and an eggroll-eating contest will be among the festivities, and children’s activities, music, international food, beer and crafts will be available. Admission is free.

Competitive and novice crews are invited to participate. Boats and safety gear are provided.

All proceeds from Good Boats benefit scholarship programs at Helms College, the first licensed, nationally accredited and DOE Title IV eligible college to be established by a Goodwill organization in the world.  

To paddle, sponsor a boat, sign up as a vendor or volunteer, go to www.goodboats.org or find Good Boats on Facebook at facebook.com/GoodBoats, or contact Nancy Browning at (706) 650-5760, or nbrowning@goodwillworks.org.

GoodBoats represents the opening of Goodwill Week, celebrated nationwide each year on the first full week of May.  

Originating in China more than 2,500 years ago, dragon boats are the largest flat-water racing canoes in the world. Constructed of solid teak, dragon boats weigh 1,500 pounds and are more than 30 feet long. Each dragon boat team consists of 20 paddlers and a steer person all kept in sync by a drummer.

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