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Lake Champlain Dragonboat Festival to return first weekend of August

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 6:35 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Dragonboats, dancing, and drinking. That’s what you can expect from the highly-anticipated return of the Lake Champlain Dragonboat Festival.

Saturday, teams practiced off Burlington’s waterfront to prepare for the big day. The annual event is celebrating its 15th anniversary, after COVID-19 forced organizers to cancel last year’s race.

Nearly 40 dragonboat teams are competing in just two weeks, racing to empower breast cancer survivors and supporters through community sport.

“I’m looking forward to having a great race after a year off from COVID. We lost our whole race, been scrambling this year, to get tent companies, to get volunteers, to get industry to support because everyone’s coming off of a dead year,” said Neal Hayes, the Lake Champlain Dragonboat Festival director.

Dragonheart Vermont encourages locals to watch by the waterfront the first weekend of August.

The organization has 200 members of all ages and genders, who make up 10 teams, many of whom race in national paddling competitions.

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