Thirty boats participated in the inaugural Oak Ridge Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday at the Oak Ridge Marina at Melton Lake Park.
The event was organized by the three Rotary clubs of Oak Ridge: Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary, and Oak Ridge Sunset Rotary Club.
Organizers were pleased with the participation and turnout, and they’ve already announced that next year’s festival will be on May 30, 2015.
A dragon boat is a long, low boat adorned with a snarling dragonhead at the boat’s front end, as in the Chinese tradition. Dragon boat races have become popular events in many U.S. cities, ranging in size from Philadelphia to Knoxville.
Saturday’s all-day Dragon Boat Festival race was an entertaining competition among teams of 20 people each—18 paddlers, a caller, and a steerer. The teams came from community employers and organizations, some of which signed up to become corporate sponsors of the event.
The goal is to turn this inaugural boat race into an annual fundraising festival that will build up the Oak Ridge Rotary Community Fund, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and meet needs in the Oak Ridge community in educational, children’s, and health programs.
Here are pictures from Saturday’s festival by freelance journalist Sara Wise and Y-12 National Security Complex Historian D. Ray Smith. The first picture above and next six pictures below are by Wise.
(See a letter about the races from Carolyn Krause of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge here.)
The next 11 photos are by Smith. You can see more pictures in his photo album here.