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Nov. 20, 2018
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Hong Kong Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival is more about fun

By Jane Harrison
 
Many of the dragon boat paddlers competing on Team USA got their start racing long boats at festivals around the U.S. The Sept. 8 Hong Kong Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival at Lake Lanier Olympic Park will likely put many new first-time dragon boaters on the water a week before world class competitors churn the water in international championships.
 
The festival brings boatloads of fun with mostly recreational paddlers who team up with cohorts from work, school or clubs. The annual event is touted as the largest multi-cultural celebration on the lake and includes exotic food and entertainment.
 
Put on by Hong Kong Economic and Trade offices in Atlanta and New York, the festival draws teams from Atlanta area business giants, such as UPS and Home Depot, and about a dozen local companies, schools, and organizations. A record 80 teams participated last year.
 
The festival begins with the customary Blessing of the Boats by Buddhist monks at 7 a.m. Racing gets under way by 7:25 a.m., with the popular Opening Ceremony, dancing, firecrackers, and the Lion Dance, at 12:30 p.m. The 2,000-meter finale is set for 4:15 p.m.
 
More information, visit: www.dragonboatatlanta.com.

Posted online 8/31/18
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