Some travelers might be wondering, so what exactly is the Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival? It helps to first define a dragon boat, which is a boat measuring 40 feet in length that carries 20 paddlers. On the day of the race, teams will race down two waterways: one that measures 250 meters and another that measures 500 meters. In 2010, the festival took place on November 13, a Saturday, and racing lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Not only is it a fun festival for those interested in racing the boats, but it is also fun for spectators.
A festival like the Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is about more than just entertainment; it is also about culture. Prior to this festival, many Miami residents and visitors may not have ever heard of or seen a dragon boat. These races are considered a dramatic part of Asian culture and, with this festival, that aspect of culture is being shared and spread. For over 2,000 years, dragon boats have been raced on the rivers in China. While the cultural aspect of the festival is important, many locals love this festival for the spectacle, the competition, and the teamwork.
Some travelers will want to watch the competition while others will want to pick up a paddle and get in a boat. There are two different ways to participate: as an individual or by registering an entire team. The official festival website has extensive details on registering, but the basic information is that individuals can contact the organizers of the event to be matched with a team. Both local and out-of-state teams can register for the races. This event goes to support breast cancer, so you will also be supporting a good cause if you choose to participate in the race.
Participating in the Festival
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Another fun local event is the Miami Carnival.