(Victoria Dragon Boat Festival)

Who’s ready for three days of celebrating competition, culture, and community?!

From live music, cultural performances, beer gardens, pancake breakfast, and of course the main feature, the return of the dragon boat races is nearly upon us!

And the lineup for the 27th annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is one not to be missed.

The festival, presented by Canada Dry and Fairway Markets, and organized by Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society, runs from Friday, August 12th to Sunday, August 14th at Victoria’s Ship Point.

This year’s theme is Spirit of the Dragons – Paddles Rise Up!, and all day dragon boat races will take place on Saturday, August 13th—the same day, there will also be a Carnation Ceremony and pause for breast cancer awareness.

Not only will there be a full line-up of cultural performances, art, and entertainment, folks can expect an incredible line up of music that includes DJ Neon Steve, Soul Shakers, OK Charlie and much more.

There will also be a large beer tent near the main stage for those who want to cool down on a hot summer day, while enjoying the performances.

As for the kids, there will be a tent fill of cultural and family activities, including entertainment as well as arts and craft.

Day one of the event will begin with an opening ceremony at noon Friday, followed by live music throughout the day.

At 7:45 p.m., the Lights of Courage Ceremony will take place, where thousands of paper lanterns are hung on the water’s edge, overlooking the night views of the Inner Harbour.

The evening will then conclude with with a performance by the Soul Shakers who have entertaining Victorians for more than a decade with their own brand of funky R&B dance music.

Day two of the event will kick off bright and early with a pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m. and the dragon boat races launching shortly after. There will be live music entertaining the crowd throughout the day and a Carnation Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday.

On Sunday, the final day of the festival, another pancake breakfast will take place at 10 a.m. to start the day and will be followed by live music—and you won’t want to miss the Water Taxi ballet performance!

DJ Neon Steve, known for delivering a high energy and fast paced flow through genres, with clever edits and segues throughout, will close out the festivities.

Here’s a full list of events taking place throughout the weekend:

“Honour our friends who have fought breast cancer. Join us to honour their battle through the Breast Cancer Challenge race,” read a message on the website.

The races, which began in Victoria during the 1994 Commonwealth Games celebration in commemoration of Hong Kong Day. The Victoria Chinese Commerce Association arranged for dragon boats to be brought over from Vancouver.

At the time, there was not a single dragon boat team training in the city at the time.

The one-day exhibition race was a huge success, quickly evolving into one of Victoria’s largest and most popular summer festivities.

With all that said, make to to get out and enjoy three days of celebrating competition, culture, and community featuring entertainment, delicious food, vendors, and activities for kids and families!

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

  • Where: Ship Point, Inner Harbour
  • When:
    • Friday, August 12th – 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Saturday, August 13th – 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Sunday, August 14th – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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