Still time to race a dragon boat

Still time to race a dragon boat

PAWTUCKET - Representatives from the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council say there's still time for teams to sign up to participate in the 2013 Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races and Taiwan Day Festival scheduled for this Saturday, Sept. 7.

The Tourism Council is looking to teams of individuals, businesses, groups and organizations to participate in this year's very colorful festival, presented by Schofield Printing. The races happen from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the shores of the Seekonk River, at Festival Pier, located off School Street.

The annual festival, part of the annual Pawtucket Arts Festival, celebrates Rhode Island's Asian culture with the feature event at Festival Pier, along the Pawtucket River. The event consists of dragon boat races for professional and amateur teams, along with many artistic and other events aimed at adults and children. With the emphasis on competition and fun, the event makes an entertaining day for participants and the entire family.

The day will feature traditional Chinese entertainment, food, music, exhibits and a dumpling eating contest. More than 10,000 people attend the festival each year to watch the races.

Dragon boat race teams can sign up for $750. Teams will compete for the following prizes during the event:

* 1st Place Dragon Division - $2,000

* 1st Place Lion Division - $500, plus admittance to the 2014 Hong Kong Races in Boston, Mass.

* 1st Place Tiger Division - $500, plus admittance to 2014 Rhode Island Chinese Dragon Boat Races.

* Breast Cancer Supporters Race 1st Place - $500

Teams are urged to sign up by calling the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council at 401-724-2200 or visiting www.dragonboatri.com .