Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival Vancouver 2008

Comments 8 by Rebecca Bollwitt

It sure is a mouthful but North America’s largest multicultural festival is once again taking to the waters of Vancouver.

What: Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival featuring food, cooking shows, a marketplace, children’s entertainment and of course the dragon boat races.
When: Saturday, June 21, 8 am to 10:30 pm, Sunday, June 22, 8 am to 6 pm, Races start at 8 am, all other activities start at 10 am.
Where: At Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park and the waters of False Creek.
More Info: The festival is completely FREE, there is no admission for any of the events including a free concert by Canadian rockers The Trews in the evening.

The main attraction is the Dragon Boat racing itself and this year we have 171 teams, from corporate groups to recreational clubs, who hope to paddle their way to victory. The 41ft boats have 27 paddlers, 4600 racers in total, and one lap of the course is 5kms.

The festival actually has a pretty interesting history and seeing as how this is its 20th anniversary, here are some notes from the organizers:

“Dragon boating was a demonstration sport at Expo 86 – a handful of paddlers got out in False Creek in two teak dragon boats sent over from Hong Kong. Vancouverites watched – then were hooked. By 1989 a few volunteers had assembled more teams and more boats and the competition angle kicked in. They created an event – offered food from around the world, live music and great kids’ activities. Every year since we’ve hosted the largest dragon boat race and multicultural festival in North America.”

Hopefully we’ll have some sun June 21st because it’s pretty much a perfect Vancouver weekend; food, entertainment, a little friendly competition between athletes, a free event, and a celebration of cultures.

Update: It was a record-breaking year for the festival [News1130]. Photos and video of the event can be found in my blog posts here and here.

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8 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. JaniceThursday, June 12th, 2008 — 8:48am PDT

    I used to volunteer for the Dragon Boat Festival during my highschool days and it used to cost $10 to get in. I can’t believe it’s free now. Will definitely drop by this summer since my friend’s team is racing. Is anyone else paddling? And has anyone seen the dragon boat races in Asia? I find it much more competitive, at least for the ones in Hong Kong (I lived there till I was 10).

  2. RaulThursday, June 12th, 2008 — 8:52am PDT

    I’ve only Dragon Boat’d once, during my MBA. It was SO much fun, and it REALLY creates team bonding.

  3. AquamanSaturday, June 14th, 2008 — 10:42am PDT

    This year should have some fantastic racing, as teams from Los Angeles, San Fran, Portland, Calgary, Victoria, Nanaimo, et al, will converge on False Creek.
    The final race on Sunday will feature 8 of the very best teams in North America. Me (and my team) cannot wait!

  4. GinoSaturday, June 21st, 2008 — 11:06am PDT

    I like to get wet with other people in the boat.
    It’s fun to see your friends on the mainland while you are on the water. Really you must come (so I can watch you, LOL).
    Seriously bring your family along and take pictures (you can add me on facebook if you have good ones: Gino Cripps!!!

    Have a good one.

  5. Dragon Boat Festival 2008 Day One » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Saturday, June 21st, 2008 — 6:45pm PDT

    […] 4600 racers and thousands of exhibitors, spectators and cheerleaders in their own right, the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival was a happening place to be this […]

  6. Dragon Boat Festival 2008: On the Water » Vancouver Blog Miss 604Saturday, June 21st, 2008 — 8:41pm PDT

    […] highlight of our day at the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival was hopping into the media boat with Slye and Dave for some fun times on the […]

  7. MarkMonday, June 23rd, 2008 — 8:53am PDT

    Pictues of the event

  8. boat racingMonday, December 15th, 2008 — 11:21pm PST

    Dragonboating is great fun in a team environment, we’re having one with the high schools in my town and would love to hear you post how yours turned out

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