POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — The third annual Dragon Boat Festival will set sail this Saturday at Krodel Park.
Rowing teams are asked to be at the park at 8 a.m., with an opening ceremony at 8:30 a.m., which includes the American Legion Post 23 of Point Pleasant presenting the colors and Anna Maria Butler singing the National Anthem.
Dragon Boats are a long, canoe-like boat with a carved dragon’s head attached to the front, said to originate in ancient China and raced at festivals. The boats have 20 people rowing, a drummer keeping time and a steersman. At 8:45 a.m., an eye dotting of the dragons will take place — without painting eyes on the dragon, it is said the dragon cannot see to race. A captain’s meeting takes place immediately after the eye dotting.
Then, at 9 a.m., the boats are loaded for the first race with the start time to begin around 9:25 a.m. A complete listing of race times and teams is as follows: Twin River Dragon, Mighty Mariners, race at 9:25 a.m.; Dragon Butts, Dragon Force I, Handley Law Office, race at 9:50 a.m.; Long Oars, Pip & Huds, Golden Ticket, race at 10:15 a.m.; SnapDragons, Beale Bengal Tigers, Ohio Valley Bank Fury, race at 10:40 a.m.; Dragon Force I, Twin River Dragon, race at 11 a.m.; Golden Ticket, OVB Fury, Mighty Mariners, race at 11:20 a.m.; Pip & Huds, SnapDragons, Dragon Butts, race at 11:40 a.m.; Handley Law Office, Long Oars, Beale Bengal Tigers, race at noon.
During the lunch break, Faye Leport will be performing live music on the main stage.
The finals start with 11th- and 10th-best times racing at 1:10 p.m.; ninth-, eighth- and seventh-best times racing at 1:30 p.m.; sixth-, fifth- and fourth-best times racing at 1:50 p.m. Teams with the third, second, and best times race for the trophies and medals at 2:10 p.m.
After the championship race concludes, an awards ceremony will take place on the stage.
There is no admission fee into the festival and there will be inflatables for kids, as well as games and River Discovery presentations. Kids are asked to register at the information booth for a drawing of two plush dragons and eight Smoky Bears that will be given away after the awarding of the trophies. Concessions will also be for sale at the event.
In addition, organizers say there are often openings for rowers in the boats, which have corporate sponsors, the morning of the races. Just arrive prior to the first race and go to the information desk to see if there is a space available. There is no charge to row.
Reach Beth Sergent at email@example.com or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.
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