The bi-annual dragon boat festival in Citrus County, held on Lake Hernando, will take place on Saturday, March 15, 2014. A committee of dragon boat paddlers and event planners, county representatives and tourism professionals are bringing fun, competition and recreation to one of Citrus County's beautiful parks.
The event will include local and regional teams coming together to race against each other in a series of heats. Novice teams are provided with instruction and all of the necessary equipment to race. For more information about forming a team, CLICK HERE.
The event will begin at 9 am and conclude at approximately 5 pm. Spectators are encouraged to come to Lake Hernando Park with their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities. Everyone will be able to enjoy live music, food and drink vendors, arts and craft vendors and a kid's play area with inflatables! A fun day for the whole family!
This festival is focused on community involvement and charitable giving. For more information on the recipients of the event proceeds, please scroll down to the Feeding America Tampa Bay selection below.
Watch this video to see what the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival is all about!
About Feeding America Tampa Bay
Mission: Ending Hunger, Nourishing Hope.
Feeding America is the largest domestic hunger relief organization in the country, consisting of a network of more than 200 food banks. We will remain a part of this vital food distribution network. Working together with our fellow food banks, we have the ability to leverage food donor relationships and effectively transport food to feed hungry Americans.
Across the country one in six people struggles with hunger. Of the 50 million people who are unsure where their next meal will come from, Feeding America Tampa Bay provides food to over 400,000 people in the West Central Florida.
Feeding America Tampa Bay continues to grow in order to meet an ever-growing demand for food assistance. In May 2009, the Food Bank made a big move to a bigger Tampa warehouse, adding 10,000 square feet of warehouse space (now totaling 50,000 square feet). In addition to more storage capacity, there are more bay doors for faster loading and unloading and the building is newer, safer and more secure.
Food donations that come to the Food Bank through food drive collections or from supermarkets requires manual sorting, made possible by thousands of volunteers helping out year ‘round. In mid-2010, we enclosed our sorting room and piped in air-conditioning to make the job comfortable for them. A 50° ‘cool room’ was added too, to store donations that don’t require refrigeration but are susceptible to Florida’s extreme summer weather.
About Dragon Boating
With a history of more than 2,500 years, the sport of dragon boating originated in ancient China. The legends include warring states, radical politics and fierce loyalty and passion written poetically by one man - Qu Yuan. This man was exiled from the land that he loved, and in turn committed suicide in the Miluo River in a final form of protest against the corruption of his era. During an attempt to save Qu Yuan, the locals took to the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles to keep the water demons and evil spirits away.
Modern day dragon boating has few elements to this ancient tale remaining. However, it has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport, bringing together millions across the globe annually. Festivals with traditional Asian flare and culture are commonplace alongside a dragon boat race in recent years. High level competitions have also been organized since the mid 1970s.
But the sport's growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level. Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising, and tool for corporate team building. Local communities combine these two concepts to breath new life into their waterfront areas, and to stimulate their local economy.
Teams are formed with 18-25 people from all walks of life. Any age, size, ability and gender can learn to paddle on a dragon boat team. 20 paddlers are seated in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers. The paddler's job is to paddle in unison with the entire team. The drummer's job is to beat the drum in sync with the paddlers and to motivate their team to the finish line. A steersperson (provided by the festival) stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.