Weekend Events: Seattle Dragon Boat Festival

Participants race in dragon boats to support TSNW. Photo courtesy of Seattle Dragon Boat Festival

Support a worthy cause while taking part in an ancient Chinese tradition.

Known for their philanthropy, Seattleites never miss an opportunity to make their giving a little more interesting. This weekend will be no different, as teams compete in the eighth annual Seattle Celebrating Life! Dragon Boat Festival to raise funds for Team Survivor Northwest (TSNW), a non-profit organization that supports women in their cancer recovery through empowering programs of physical activity and health education.

Participants race in dragon boats to support TSNW. Photo courtesy of Seattle Dragon Boat Festival

On Saturday, Sept. 3, dragon boats will be launched onto Lake Washington from Stan Sayres Memorial Park, offering participants the chance to work their triceps while helping a very important cause. All proceeds from the race will be donated to TSNW.

Never heard of the sport? Dragon boat racing originated in ancient China, but is quickly becoming popular all over the world. Each boat holds 20 people who all paddle in unison, combining strength with teamwork. The great thing about dragon boat racing is that anyone can do it, regardless of age or ability. The fitness aspect and camaraderie of the sport create a great combination for all involved.

TSNW originally teamed up with dragon boat racing thanks to Dr. Don McKenzie, a sports medicine physician at the University of British Columbia. McKenzie proved that dragon boat racing helps to prevent lymphedema, an obstruction of the lymph vessels common in breast cancer patients.

Dragon boats race in Stan Sayres park. Photo courtesy of Seattle Dragon Boat Festival.

Spectators can also enjoy this event, as there will be merchandise vendors selling unique dragon boat memorabilia, food booths and a beer and wine garden scheduled to open at 11 a.m.

The festival is scheduled to run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free for all spectators. The schedule begins with an eye dotting ceremony, which re-enacts the origins of dragon boating. The race will commence at 9 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m., interrupted only by a one hour lunch break that begins at 12:30 p.m.

Seattle Dragon Boat Festival | 3808 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle | (206) 732-8350