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    This past chilly Saturday morning, racers and spectators met at the Waterfront by the Great Lawn and Joe’s Crab Shack to kickoff the 2nd Annual Louisville Dragon Boat Festival, presented by Louisville Third Century. The races began after the “Awakening of the Dragon” and “Eye Dotting Ceremony,” both performed by an abbot from the Tu An Vietnamese Buddhist Temple. These ceremonies are meant to awaken the dragon by opening its eyes and to bless the race course, the boats, and the competitors.

    There were 30 teams ready to race through the 300 meter course on the Ohio River! The teams were comprised of local organizations, individuals, companies, and even high schools. Several teams became a mixture of different groups if they showed up with a few missing paddlers, but everyone came together and had a great time fighting for their spot on the river! The races began with everyone racing in four boat heats. Each team then raced at least two more times in heats based on their performance in the first race. At the end of the event, the final races were held with the best boats competing against one another.

    There were also plenty of other activities and entertainment going on for spectators to enjoy. The WKU Confucius Institute came and brought multiple cultural activities. They put on several theatrical performances such as the “Chinese Traditional Acrobat and Magic” and “The Monkey King Uproar in Heaven.” They also had kid-friendly activities where they could practice Chinese calligraphy with water on the sidewalks, paint on traditional fans, practice face painting, and try on traditional Chinese costumes.

    As for food, there were plenty of options! The Louisville Sushi Truck, Traveling Kitchen, Boss Hog BBQ, Pollo- A Gourmet Chicken Joint, Ramiro’s Catina, Lexie Lu’s, Louisville Dessert Truck, and the Confucius Institute Food Truck: East Meets West all made an appearance, bringing something different to the table to satisfy everyone's appetite.

    By the end of the day, the festival had drawn a large crowd of supporters made up of spectators, participants, and sponsors! Everyone had a blast, on and off the river, and raised money for various organizations with great causes! It’s safe to say that the Louisville Dragon Boat Festival is looking forward to making it’s third appearance next year!


    Photos Courtesy of Pete Nguyen

    Irena Tran's picture

    About Irena Tran

    I studied Art at UofL and now physical therapy at Bellarmine University. I love art, sports, and good food. I'm always looking for something new to try and new concepts to photograph!

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