his weekend was the annual ‘Tim Horton’s Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival’ at Mooney’s Bay. If you live in Ottawa, you’ve likely been to this event, known someone who has participated in this tournament, or at the very least you’ve heard of it’s grandeur. Celebrated as the largest dragon boat festival in North America, this tournament attracts over 75,000 visitors, including 5,000 paddlers and over 500 volunteers. Admission is completely free, and the outdoor event boasts a series of concerts and exhibitions that attract both festival lovers and paddlers alike.
This weekend I went to the festival to cheer on four of my family members who were paddling for the ‘Running on Water’ dragon boat team. Day 1 of the tournament was overcast and warm and we were lucky to go the entire day without rain. Given that the tradition of dragon boating originated from encouraging rainfall by worshiping dragons, I would say we were very lucky indeed.
And they’re off!…
So many people come to watch the races that the festival brings in stands for the spectators!
On your marks…
While waiting on the shoreline, I was asked if wanted to hop on to the press boat to take pictures. This boat travelled quickly alongside the paddlers and gave us an incredible view of the action!
Managed to snap an action shot of Shaun mid-row…yep, I’m a proud girlfriend.
The team qualified for the second day of races and spent a very wet day outside on the Bay. A sure sign that the dragons took notice of their passion.
Until next time ‘Running on Water’. See you in Carleton Place!