This fall, Asian culture comes alive in the Research Triangle at the Dragon Boat Festival. Held on September 27, the Dragon Boat Festival is part boat race, part cultural festival, helping the people of Cary and the surrounding communities celebrate the Asian culture that is so much a part of our region. As a resident of Bradford, this festival is just around the corner from your front door!
More Than Just a Boat Race
The Dragon Boat Festival’s name implies it is all about the boats and the boat race. While these are central to the event, they are far from the only part of it. Attending the event, either as a racer or as a spectator, gives you the chance to see, hear and taste Asian culture.
In the food booths, you can sample everything from Bodhi vegetarian cuisine to Indian and Korean food. The smells in this part of the festival will set your taste buds on alert, and your hardest task will be to choose the dish you will eat.
After you’ve chosen your food, head over to the cultural displays, where you can see calligraphy, Chinese arts and crafts and more. These booths highlight the culture and art forms of many different Asian countries.
Cultural performances are also a major part of the festival. Lion dancers, a fashion show, Kung Fu demonstrations and even a yo-yo performance all take place at the festival. Most have an Asian flair, and you can spend the entire day watching the performances of area cultural groups.
About the Race
At the center of the festival is the boat race. The race teams will race in a traditional dragon boat with 20 paddlers and one drummer. The racers themselves are not necessarily Asian teams, but come from local neighborhoods, businesses and other organizations.
The Details of the Event
This year’s Dragon Boat Festival takes place on September 27 and opens at 9 a.m. The festival runs through 4:30 p.m. Race heats occur all day long and begin at 9:30, with different categories of racers.
The event will be held at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre. The popular festival draws numerous people from the Research Triangle area, so plan to carpool or use the ride sharing system set up on the event website to ensure you can find a place to park. Public transportation is another option.
Whether you have Asian heritage or not, the Dragon Boat Festival is an engaging experience. The event is free, but be sure to bring cash for food and shopping. Whether you are participating in race team or just coming to watch the event for yourself, you will have an enjoyable time.