photo courtesy of shannon To


Dragon Boats are specially designed vessels so named because of the elaborate dragon heads attached to their bows. Dragon Boat racing is a tradition that can be traced back more than 2,400 years.

The ancient sport of Dragon Boat racing roars into action at North Glenmore Park this weekend.

More than 100 Dragon Boat teams with 22-person crews will take to the water today through Sunday at the Glenmore Reservoir as part of a full lineup of events that make up the 16th annual Calgary Dragon Boat Race Festival.

“It’s really about the camaraderie,” says Shannon To, one of the members of team Crew Yahoo. “We have crew from the age of 20 to 55.”

Judy Scott, team liaison director for the event says she expects “thousands of spectators” to come out to watch the races.

“It’s very social and a great way to meet people,” she says.

This weekend the Calgary Dragon Boat Festival is also hosting the national competition, with teams from across Canada racing for the chance to qualify for an international Dragon Boat championship that will take place in Penang, Malaysia, in 2008.

In addition to the races, the festival also includes displays of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chinese dancing and live entertainment with the band Northern Pikes performing on Saturday night.

Calgary Transit will provide a free shuttle service on Saturday and Sunday to the park from the Chinook LRT station, Mount Royal College, International Hotel and Blackfoot Inn.

Complete shuttle schedule information is available at

For more information about the festival, visit

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