Festival Details - "Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival: Ride the Dragons for Charity"...
Start: Sunday, August 7, 2022 7:30AM
End: Sunday, August 7, 2022 8:30PM
The annual festival is a favorite in the area made popular by the energy of community teams who eagerly paddle in 20-person dragon boats to raise money to support cancer survivors. Despite the pandemic, this year’s festival promises to entertain and engage paddlers and spectators alike with some of the high-energy entertainment like Zumba for paddler warm-up and fast-paced paddling and splashing on the water. There will be musical entertainment Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, along with savory treats from favorite food vendors. And, most importantly, each team will participate in at least two 200 m races between Splash and the Coastguard station, cheered on by the amazing energy of community fans.
Presented by Community Bank N.A., Dragonheart Vermont, the dragon boat organization that hosts the annual event, seeks to raise money to support Vermont’s cancer survivors. This year, the festival’s fundraising successes are shared with another local cancer organization, (the festival’s “Pledge Partner”), The Cancer Patient Support Foundation. CPSF’s work supports Vermont cancer patients and their families so “all who face cancer can do so with dignity, confidence and serenity.” Funds for Dragonheart Vermont support wellness and fitness programs for breast cancer survivors and supporters.
Since its inception in 2006, the festival has been able to gift over $3 million to organizations in the community that support cancer patients. These include but are not limited to Camp Ta Kum Ta, the McClure Miller Respite House, Integrative Therapies at the UVMMC Cancer Center, and, most recently, the Cancer Patient Support Foundation.
Although all the participants enjoy the paddling, the highlight of the festival is the mid-day Flower Ceremony. This breathtaking memorial has breast cancer survivors teams paddle into a flotilla formation, where founder, Linda Dyer, shares a few words, and survivor, Bonnie-Jean Arahonian sings a specially-selected song. Paddlers from the water, joined by team representatives from the docks, will then offer a flower to Lake Champlain in honor of their loved ones.
The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival began in 2004, thanks to the dedication and hard work of Dragonheart Vermont founders, Linda Dyer, a breast cancer survivor, and her husband, John. Convinced that research linking dragon boat paddling improves breast cancer recovery at a time when many doctors advocated rest, John and Linda began a breast cancer survivor and supporter team in 2006. Seeing the need to sustain and grow the team as well as to support the community, Linda, John, and a fearsome group of volunteers launched the first festival with 56 teams. Sixteen years later, it celebrates its success with the community that gives so much to support it and make sure it can happen each year.
As the community emerges from a worldwide pandemic, Dragonheart is especially grateful to have such dedicated supporters who are willing to paddle, cheer and participate in so many ways to make our community stronger.
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Events Provided by: EVVNT