• Ancient customs come alive at British Columbia's Dragon Boat Festival

    2011-05-11

    For the past nine years, Maffeo Sutton Park in British Columbia has let battling dragons of all colors and shapes overtake its waters for the annual Save on Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival, reports Harbour Living.

    Every July, the dragon boat enthusiasts flock to the waterfront to partake in the celebratory event. According to the organization's website, traditions date back 2,000 years to China, where these vessels where used to pray for a good rainy season and a bountiful harvest.

    During the event, more than 80 teams fly through the marina hoping to take home a win and bragging rights. Spectators can watch the race alongside live music entertainment, a pancake breakfast, a sponsored beer garden and even an area just for kids called the Little Dragon Fun Zone.

    The festival welcomes visitors to help as volunteers, which may be a great way for travelers to get in on the action first hand. Jobs that are typically available include team registration staff and party crew. All participants receive a free t-shirt and are able to join in a special bash post-race.

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