Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

Be a part of the second annual Oswego Dragon Boat Festival

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The team of a 40-foot Dragon Boat consists of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer that race in authentic Hong Kong-style. Last year's inaugural Oswego Dragon Boat Festiva raised approximately $19,000 for the Oswego YMCA Strong Kids Campaign. The team of a 40-foot Dragon Boat consists of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer that race in authentic Hong Kong-style. Last year's inaugural Oswego Dragon Boat Festiva raised approximately $19,000 for the Oswego YMCA Strong Kids Campaign.

     The time until Oswego's second annual Dragon Boat Festival is racing along quickly, but organizers said they still have vendor spots open in the Dragon Marketplace as well as one more opening for a racing team.

     It is expected that the festival, which takes place Sept. 7, will attract 3,000 people throughout the day long event that will not only feature dragon boat racing, but live music, food, demonstrations, arts, crafts, vendors and children's activities.
     The Oswego Dragon Festival is an event that celebrates Chinese culture and brings the community together to raise funding for the YMCA's Strong Kids Campaign. The teams racing in the event come from the community of Oswego: local businesses, SUNY Oswego, and community teams.
     Funds raised support the Oswego YMCA Strong Kids Campaign and the inaugural 2012 Oswego Dragon Festival raised $19,206.02 for the Oswego Y Strong Kids Campaign.
     "Oswego began this festival to bring about recognition for the Strong Kids scholarships and to allow the community to have a great time participating in a competitive all-day festival," said Jackie Sheffield, associate director at the Oswego YMCA.
     She explained that 32 teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer will race in authentic Hong Kong-style, 40-foot-long dragon boats. All skill levels and physiques can paddle, making it the ultimate team building sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse, more than power to win.
     "We do have one unexpected boat available in the community division," Sheffield said.
     She said there is also room for more vendors at Dragon Marketplace, which will be located at Breitbeck Park. The fee is $50 for a 10' X 10' space ($25 for not-for-profit) and vendors need to provide their own tent and table.
     The Children's Museum of Oswego will be in Dragonland with fun and educational activities for children to participate in throughout the day. Dragonland will also have an air hop, facepainting and traditional Chinese children's games.
     Organizers are still confirming more food vendors, but Sheffield said Mike's Funnel Cakes and More will be there along with Rudy's Lakeside Drive In, who will be serving up their famous Texas hots as well as nachos and beer.
     The final team Captain's meeting is at 6 p.m., Aug. 27, at the Y Armory.
"Teams are still raising money for the Oswego Strong Kids Campaign," Sheffield pointed out. "The team with the most funds raised will be recognized at the awards ceremony on race day."
     The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the first race to begin at 9 a.m. and the championship race to be held approximately at 3 p.m.
     For more information, call the YMCA at 343-1981; visit www.facebook.com/OswegoDragonFestival; or e-mail [email protected]

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