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Blue Island Park District Presents 3rd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival June 1-2, 2018
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Blue Island Park District Presents 3rd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival June 1-2, 2018

Sponsorship Opportunities, Team, Individual, and Vendor Registration Now Open

BLUE ISLAND, ILLINOIS, March 29, 2018 -- Once you hear about dragon boat racing and become involved in this world of sport, community and fun, there’s no turning back from it -- just ask Blue Island Park District. After competing in the Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival in 2016 and winning the Community Cup division in 2017, the park district, led by Executive Director Tom Wogan, wanted more. Earlier this week, they got what they wanted, when the Board of Commissioners finalized an agreement to acquire the annual event from 2017 Fest organizers Kevin and Sara Brown. 

A dragon boat is water vessel powered by a team of 20 paddlers, with a steerer positioned in back and a drummer in the front, keeping time. Race courses for dragon boats are generally 200-500 meters in length and designed for head-to-head competition between 2-4 teams. Blue Island Park District will partner with Toronto-based Great White North Dragon Boats to supply all necessary boats, equipment, coaches, race seeding, and official timing.

“Dragon boating is the fastest growing aquatic sport in the world,” says Wogan. “It’s so accessible – almost anyone can do it, with little to no experience, yet it’s fiercely competitive and exciting for paddlers and spectators alike.”

Along with a day full of visually spectacular races, the Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival will once again feature a vendor village with food, drinks, and pop-up shopping. The festival is held at the MWRD Waterfall Park along the Cal-Sag, with participants loading into boats below the Chatham St. pedestrian bridge, part of Blue Island’s leg of the Cal-Sag Trail. Parking at the event is free and abundant, and for those opting for public transit, the festival site is just a few blocks away from the Vermont Street Metra station.

“The Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is much more than a great day of dragon boat racing,” continues Wogan. “It’s a celebration of sport, community, and teamwork, and is truly a way to experience Blue Island in a way you never imagined possible.”

Individual and team registration is underway at chicagodragonboats.com, along with a list of available festival sponsorship opportunities.

About the 3rd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

Date: Friday June 1 and Saturday June 2, 2018

Time: Practice Sessions: 4-7:30 pm Friday, Dragon Boat Races: Saturday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location:  MWRD SEPA Station #3 Waterfall & Park along the Cal-Sag, Blue Island, IL

Projected Participants: 15-20 Teams – Approx. 500 Athletes

Projected Spectators: 400-600

Projected Vendors: 10 Businesses/50 people

Description: The Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival caters to a variety of groups, including businesses, organizations, churches, families, competitive sports enthusiasts, and those who crave outdoor summer activity on a stunning dragon boat regatta course.

Friday includes team practice sessions with instructors from Great White North Dragon Boat Racing (GWN), who also provides the dragon boats, paddles and life jackets for participants.

Saturday activities include the dragon boat races, awards ceremony, vendor village, and after party at the Blue Island Beer Company.

For more information on the 3rd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival, to register as an individual or team, or to explore sponsorship opportunities, please visit chicagodragonboats.com.

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