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Greater Moncton Dragon Boat Festival attracts record numbers

By Tara Clow May 30, 2024 | 1:54 PM

It’s time for the dragon boats to take to the waters of Jones Lake in Moncton.

Sixty-two teams will compete this year to support the Lions Sick Children’s Fund and a charity of each team’s choice.

“Forty-one high school teams, the most ever. That includes all of our local high schools and two teams from Woodstock that are coming for the event. We have a team from Atlantic Education International paddling with us in the high school events, and we have a team from the Moncton Christian Academy. It’s gonna be wild,” says Greater Moncton Dragon Boat Festival Co-Chair Carole Murphy.

The teams are made up of 21 people.  Twenty of them are paddlers and the other a drummer.

“Dragon boating is the best team-building exercise you’ll ever do because it’s all about paddling together. It’s really about paddling strong together in a rhythm that really makes that boat go faster. It’s great fun to watch the teams master that during practice week and then they come back ready for the competition on the weekend.”

The boats are 12 metres long and weigh up to 1500 pounds depending on the boat.

The action begins on Friday, May 31 with the high school teams.

“So in the morning, we’re down there working away and then we start to hear the high school students come down, and they’re all in their high school colours and often already singing their high school chants. The energy and enthusiasm is amazing. It’s great fun to watch and they really put a lot of spirit behind it.”

The Corporate teams compete on Saturday.

There’s still time to donate. Visit the Greater Moncton Dragon Festival website.