"Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races" Top 5 Page for this destination Rose Festival Tip by glabah

Rose Festival, Portland: 7 reviews and 17 photos

  Dragon Boats on the Willamette River, practicing.
by glabah
 
  • Dragon Boats on the Willamette River, practicing. - Portland
      Dragon Boats on the Willamette River, practicing.
    by glabah
  • dragon boats approach the race finish line, 2009 - Portland
      dragon boats approach the race finish line, 2009
    by glabah
  • grabbing the flag, finish line of Dragon Boat Race - Portland
      grabbing the flag, finish line of Dragon Boat Race
    by glabah
  • crowd cheers 2009 high school dragon boat race win - Portland
      crowd cheers 2009 high school dragon boat race win
    by glabah
  • crowd on hand to watch 2009 Dragon Boat Races - Portland
      crowd on hand to watch 2009 Dragon Boat Races
    by glabah
 

The Dragon Boat Races are heavily inspired by Chinese races, and some traditions typical of Dragon Boat Racing remain true here in Portland. There are teams from many areas of Portland that compete in the races. These include, for example, teams from several hospitals, groups of survivors of several serious illnesses, high school teams, and various other groups. There are national and international teams that come to this event too. The three basic divisions are mixed, women, and high-school.

As a general rule (check the Rose Festival web site for more information) the dragon boat races are held on the same weekend as the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. The location is at the south end of Waterfront Park, with a grass ampitheatre serving as the primary viewing location. Races start about 8 in the morning, with competition supposedly wrapping up about 4 PM, though it isn't unusual for races to still be going up until 5.

The final races are held in the late afternoon on Sunday.

The announcements are audible through a significant part of the area around waterfront park, so don't worry about being able to hear the loudspeaker. You will most certainly be able to hear what is being said, if you can see the boats.

There are only four lanes of competition. The starting point is near OMSI under the Marquam Bridge, and the finishing point is quite close to the grass ampitheatre at the south end of Waterfront Park.

The event is sponsored by the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association, and so there have been some attempts to make the dragon boat race quite authentic to its Tiawanese heritage. Each boat has 16 paddlers, 1 tiller, 1 caller, and a flag catcher who grabs the flag to prove that the boat has crossed the finish line.

Each team has 10 weeks to practice, and so you will see these groups on the water with these boats, though not in their full decoration.

A bit more information is available on the web site of the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association, located at http://www.pksca.net/

For those wishing to actually see what the Rose Festival Dragon Boat races look like (as well as the hazards of watching one in the crowd!) see my Portland Dragon Boat Festival video, which shows the 2009 high school age championship round of the races.

Address: Willamette River during Rose Festival
Directions: It is best to take public transit to this one. Parking is really bad in the downtown area during this event. Any bus crossing the Hawthorne Bridge gets you reasonably close, as does the Portland Streetcar.
Website: http://www.rosefestival.org/

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 11, 2009
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glabah

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