Friday, July 19, 2024

Renowned and beloved Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival to stir waters this weekend


Get ready for a weekend of boat races, beer, musical and cultural performances, and delicious food!

Join the spectators and festival participants at the Gorge Waterway for the Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival and Ukrainian Fundraiser hosted by the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club!

Between Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th, you’ll get to witness hundreds of athletes in the featured races — designed in a new pentathlon race format set to challenge recreational and competitive boating teams alike.

The races will include a 500, 200, and 100 meter sprint as well as the famous flag relay, a show-stopper guts and glory, followed by a final 500 metre for the top three finishing women’s and mixed teams!

Additionally, there will be plenty of vendors, and a beer tent operated by the Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island raising funds to help refugees who have fled the war in Ukraine. 

Fairway Gorge Paddling Club
(Fairway Gorge Paddling Club)

“There’ll be music, food, dancing, sales and dragon boat racing throughout the weekend,” said Erik Ages, general manager of the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club and host of the event. 

“In fact, these races will be very spectator-friendly, with easily accessed vantage points right on the water across from our club. Everyone is invited.”

Other festival entertainment includes Lion Dancers from the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, the Victoria Academy of Ballet, Chinese Dance Victoria and the Uminari Taiko Drummers, Nanaimo’s popular Funkanometry Dance Duo, and more! 

Come check out some local bands too — including Back Beat, The Distractions, The Pick Ups, and The Soul Shakers.

The festival is free to attend, just make sure you bring some money if you wish to treat yourself to the vendors treats and goodies. 

We hope to see you there! 

Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival

  • Where: 2940 Jutland Road #115
  • When: Saturday, August 26th and Sunday, August 27th — times vary but the races and entertainment starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning 

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