News Updates


The Dragons on the Lake
Dragon Boat Festival

Portage Lakes State Park 
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Sponsor, participate or watch as authentic Hong Kong style dragon 
boats race with 20 paddlers and 250 meters to the finish line. This is
a day of community, camaraderie and competition to support the
Dragon Dream team, Ohio's first all breast cancer survivor team.
All inquiries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Though relatively new to Northeast Ohio, dragon boating is over 2000 years old and one of the fastest growing team water sports in the world. It’s a thrilling ride with 20 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson racing in an authentic 46-foot long Hong Kong style dragon boat. Almost anyone can paddle a dragon boat after a short lesson. It is a sport suited to all ages, genders and skill levels. The key to winning a dragon boat race is to paddle in sync. Muscles are nice, but not nearly as important as the ability to keep time with your paddling partners.
Everyone can participate! Although several “survivor” teams will be racing, this is a community event, we have corporate and community teams as well.
Gather your co-workers, family, friends, church or volunteer group, exercise buddies, etc. ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. You will need 16 to 20 paddlers (plus up to 3 substitutes) and one drummer. Most teams are a mix of men and women and all teams must have a minimum of eight (8) women paddlers. Participants must be at least 15 years old. A minimum deposit can hold a team spot until June 16th. Teams will have until June 27th to recruit and complete their roster of paddlers.
No. Boats, paddles, life vests and a professional steersperson will be provided. Every registered team will also receive a 90 minute practice paddling session on the water to show you paddling basics, help organize your team in the boat and prepare you for race day. The Festival organizers will also offer lunch and tent rental options to all teams.
Festival day activities start with a ceremonial eye-dotting “awakening of the dragons.” Once the racing begins, it will be non-stop action with dragon boats heading to the finish line every 12 minutes. The races are fast and furious, typically lasting around two minutes. With entertainment and lots of beach front activities throughout the day Dragons on the Lake Festival will be a summer spectacle for the whole family. Admission is FREE for spectators.
Yes, and not just for paddling. Ribbons, medals and trophies are awarded for the top spots in each of several categories (community, corporate, survivor). A variety of SPIRIT awards are also presented for things like creative team names, shirts, tent decoration, and “most outrageous drummer costume.”
Complete the official Festival Team Registration Form. Mail this form along with a team deposit (holds a spot until June 16th) or the entire registration fee to secure a spot. A Festival coordinator will follow up and provide you with a packet of information. That’s all it takes to get started and be a part of the exciting and exhilarating 2017 Dragons on the Lake Dragon Boat Festival experience.