RIVERWORKS TO HOST 2017 BUFFALO NIAGARA DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
Buffalo Riverworks is proud to host the sixth annual Hope Chest Buffalo Niagara Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday June 17th. The festival’s main attraction are the Dragon Boat Races, which feature twenty-person teams competing against each in ancient Chinese watercraft called Dragon Boats.
There are teams of solely breast cancer survivors as well as community teams who entered for team-building and fundraising for Hope Chest Buffalo. Entry into the festival for spectators is free and there is plenty to do for all ages. There is a costume and t-shirt contest for the crews as well as a free kids corner with a variety of activities. The colorful Dragon Boats streak down the Buffalo River right past Riverworks throughout the day. Races begin at 8:30AM, a special breast cancer survivors race is at 11AM, and the final race, a 2000 meter eight boat finale, launches at 4PM.
Although Dragon Boat Racing is an ancient sport going back 2500 years to the Pearl River Delta in China, it has a special meaningfulness for breast cancer survivors. Up until the early 2000s it was widely believed that strenuous upper body exercise could cause complications for breast cancer survivors. There were however dissenting opinions and they sought to prove that survivors can and should be exercising their upper bodies! Here’s how Dragon Boats work: Dragon Boats are long and are usually filled with twenty-two person team seated two-by-two. There are twenty rowers, a drummer at the bow, and a sweep at the stern. Rowers use free paddles (not attached to boat) to propel the boat, the drummer keeps the crew in rhythm, and the sweep steers the boat from the stern.
Hope Chest Buffalo raises funds to increase breast cancer awareness as well as directly aid local breast cancer patients. Since 2000 the Hope Chest Buffalo Dragon team has been proving to the medical establishment and survivors everywhere that is important to work out those upper bodies, something that has been discouraged in the past. Dragon Boat racing promotes team-building and camaraderie, which are key for many cancer survivors healing process. All proceeds from the event go to Hope Chest Buffalo. The teams are full however you may still sign up at hopechestbuffalo.org and be placed on a waiting list or simply make an individual donation.
- When: Saturday June 17, 2017
- Time: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM
- Where: Buffalo RiverWorks 359 Ganson St Buffalo NY 14203