The inaugural dragon boat festival to be held at Loyd Park on Joe Pool Lake will take place on Saturday, April 12, 2014. A committee of chamber members, county representatives and tourism professionals are bringing fun, competition and recreation to one of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation's most beautiful parks.
This event will include local and regional teams coming together to race against each other in a series of heats. Novice teams are provided with instruction and all of the necessary equipment to race. For more information about forming a team, CLICK HERE.
The event will begin at 9 am and conclude at approximately 4 pm. Spectators are encouraged to come to Loyd Park with their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities. Food vendors and music will keep the event lively for all throughout the day.
This festival is focused community involvement and charitable giving. Proceeds from the Dragon Boat Festival will go to the Career Technology Education Scholarship Fund and to support the Chamber Program of Work.
The Grand Prairie ISD Career Technology Education scholarships changes lives. They are vital in supporting our students, giving them the best possible chance of gaining a quality educational experience postsecondary. The scholarships assist in helping to take the financial pressure off students which helps them to focus on their education. In other cases, it can pay for the essentials of their learning, such as textbooks, tuition and fees. These scholarships also provide an incentive for students to achieve excellence in their studies.
ABOUT Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce
The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce is a member owned non-profit (501c6) organization of businessmen and women who are investing their resources in community development programs – working together to “promote strengthen and expand the business community” of Grand Prairie.
The Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce represents a unique partnership with business, civic and educational leaders in Grand Prairie. The goal of this partnership is to build a community where businesses flourish, education is continually improving and the community enjoys a safe and friendly environment.
With a history of more than 2,500 years, the sport of dragon boating originated in ancient China. The legends include warring states, radical politics and fierce loyalty and passion written poetically by one man - Qu Yuan. This man was exiled from the land that he loved, and in turn committed suicide in the Miluo River in a final form of protest against the corruption of his era. During an attempt to save Qu Yuan, the locals took to the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles to keep the water demons and evil spirits away.
Modern day dragon boating has few elements to this ancient tale remaining. However, it has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport, bringing together millions across the globe annually. Festivals with traditional Asian flare and culture are commonplace alongside a dragon boat race in recent years. High level competitions have also been organized since the mid 1970s.
But the sport's growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level. Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising, and tool for corporate team building. Local communities combine these two concepts to breath new life into their waterfront areas, and to stimulate their local economy.
Teams are formed with 18-25 people from all walks of life. Any age, size, ability and gender can learn to paddle on a dragon boat team. 20 paddlers are seated in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers. The paddler's job is to paddle in unison with the entire team. The drummer's job is to beat the drum in sync with the paddlers and to motivate their team to the finish line. A steersperson (provided by the festival) stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.
Management & Marketing
High Five Dragon Boat, LLC is the producer of the Grand Prairie Dragon Boat Festival. As an event management and marketing company, High Five prides itself on bringing together communities to enjoy their local waterway and your fellow community members! It is the goal of High Five to create an annual event in Grand Prairie that provides not only a fun community-based event, but also brings to the City an economic impact through tourism and fundraising.