The 2017 Festival Schedule will be available soon!
Friday, August 19, 2016
Join us for the traditional Blessing of the Boats on Friday evening at Louise McKinney Park from 6:00 – 6:30 pm. The ceremony will be held on the docks.
The racing begins Friday evening with the Novice Cup races where novice teams will experience their first dragon boat race! This friendly competition starts the race component of the festival at 7:00pm. Following the Novice races are the Grassroots races. The Grassroots division consists of teams that do not have more than two experienced paddlers in the boat. They are racing for glory! This is a great evening for family, friends, non-paddlers and paddlers of all ages and skill levels to unite and join together in celebration of this ancient sport.
Saturday August 20, 2016
The recreational semi-competitive races commence on Saturday morning. The race schedule is randomly drawn with teams racing three lanes across the river for 500 meters. The festival’s cultural opening ceremonies will be held at 12:00pm at the main stage. The opening ceremonies will featuring taiko drumming, a performance from Chinese dancers, kung fu demonstrations and a Chinese lion dance among other cultural entertainment. Racing resumes with competitive races following the opening ceremonies. The Old Dragons are racing for bragging rights to end the second day of racing! These teams consist of paddlers that have paddled for more than ten years. Once the last race on Saturday has commenced, have fun in the beverage gardens at the 90’s themed Paddler Party! Prizes will be awarded and this is a minor friendly event.
Sunday August 21, 2016
The competitive spirit ‘Rips up the River’! The combined race times from Saturday’s results determine Sunday’s schedule. The competitive spirit rises on Sunday! Teams unite with their coaches and steers personal to focus on what skill it will take to win the gold medal. Semi-final races start at 9:00am and afternoon finals at 1:00pm.
The competitive races adjourn at 12:00pm on Sunday to observe and cheer the Pink Ribbon Challenge race sponsored by the Edmonton Breast Friends Dragon Boat Racing Team. Each year visiting teams and local breast cancer survivor teams gather in celebration of strength and determination of courageous survivors generating awareness and hope in a dragon boat. Following this intense race, The Pink Ribbon Ceremony begins with a walk of cancer survivors and pink carnations tossed into the waters of the North Saskatchewan River. The ceremony is a beautiful tribute and memory to those touched by cancer.
On Sunday afternoon, the final category races draw a crowd of spectators and comrades anxious to cheer their favourite team! The final races conclude with a medal and trophy presentation ceremony.
The Edmonton Dragon Boat Festival is held at Louise McKinney Riverfront Park. The park is adjacent to downtown Edmonton, and is located immediately south of the Shaw Conference Centre along Grierson Hill Road NW.