Vancouver’s Dragon Boat Festival opens for the first time in two years. The festival was cancelled last year due to COVID-19, but this year, the festival returns, taking place between Sept 18-25 across the city.
In Dragon Boat racing, teams of 22 people race against each other by rowing in long canoe-like boats called Dragon Boats, a traditional Chinese boat. This is the 33rd anniversary of the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival Society, which has been running the festival in Vancouver every year but last year since then.
As part of the festival this year, the week prior to the races will have other events as part of the festival around the city. These include a Mid-Autumn festival at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden in Chinatown, as well as free admission for the week into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s Dragon Boat Festival exhibit.
Events are being spread out across the city this year so that COVID protocols and safety measures can properly be put into place. Additionally, vaccine cards will be mandatory for being granted access to all events taking place as part of the Dragon Boat Festival this year.
The races themselves will take place at Concord Pacific Place on Sept 25, and will also include food vendors, art, and other events at the site of the festival. Registration is currently open for both adult and junior teams. Registration this year for junior teams is free, whereas adult registration ranges from 75$ to nearly 600$ depending on what races your team wants to compete in.
For more information on registering, event schedules, and safety protocols, you can visit the Dragon Boat festival’s website at https://concorddragonboatfestival.ca/