Dragon Boats Descend on the Twin Ports
Posted at: 08/23/2013 5:06 PM
| Updated at: 08/23/2013 9:30 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
98 teams will race Saturday. With their paddles at the ready, competitors did some last minute practice Friday.
Organizers and volunteers have been working all day, turning Barker's Island into their festival grounds. With so many tents, the organizers have made a job to oversee them.
"My title at the Dragon Boat Festival is Mayor of Tent City," said Jon Winter.
Winter is serving his 8th term. He says it's a tough job when 96 teams ask for a tent, but he makes it easier by breaking up his city into neighborhoods.
"We got Mini Golf Estates...and Little Canada, that's where some of the Canadian teams are," said Winter.
Setting up the tents, bringing in the food stands and the music to the stage all takes year-long organization.
"The planning of it happens from the first day when the event is done to the first day of the start of the event as it happens," said co-chair of the event Duane Holm.
Putting up all of colorful flags is one of the final steps in preparing for the festival. It's what the paddlers will look to as they race to the finish. But organizers say it's not all about the competition.
"I mean the racing is fun, too, but I like the bands, which happens tonight. It's a little more of a festive atmosphere than the races, which is a little more competitive," said co-chair Shawn Adams.
Whether you go for the head-to-head competition, the food, or the music, on Saturday 98 teams will race for the gold. Or at least the bragging rights.
"Everyone gets medals and paddles... and more than anything it's just pride," said Adams.
The races start Saturday at 8 a.m.