Imagine seeing twenty paddlers in a 42 foot-long boat paddling in unison across Bringle Lake Park in Texarkana. It could only mean one thing, the inaugural Dragon Boat Festival Saturday, June 11, 2016 to benefit Hands on Texarkana.

The fun-filled event takes place from 9AM-5PM and will include local and regional teams from individuals and businesses joining together to race against one another in a series of heats. Dragon boat racing is a team sport that is growing quickly worldwide. Each year, an estimated 50 million people from 40 countries participate in the sport of dragon boat racing. As a matter of fact, a team from British Columbia, Canada is coming to compete in this race.

For those you that may not know how Dragon Boat races work, 20 paddlers sit two-by-two in a 42 foot-long boat and paddle in unison with the entire team. A steersperson (provided by the festival) stands in the back guiding the boat. A drummer sits at the front of the boat and beats out the cadence of strokes to keep the paddlers in sync and motivates their team to the finish line. Paddlers work as a team to make the boat glide to it's finishing line. The appeal of dragon boating is truly universal because it is challenging and demonstrates teamwork at its finest.

Specific Rules

The races are only about 1-2 minutes.  Each team should have 18-20 people along with alternates.  Any age, size, ability and gender can be on a dragon boat team.   There are 20 paddlers (must be at least 14 years old)  seated in 10 rows of 2 along with a drummer (must be 12 years or older) sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers. Registration forms available at Texarkana Dragon Boat Festival. You can also visit their Facebook page or call 903-798-3211 for more information.

Townsquare Media is a sponsor of the Dragon Boat Festival and our team is named Triple Threat (Team Townsquare Texarkana).