Right Around the River Blog

International Dragon Boat Festival Is This Weekend at Rocketts Landing

Post Date: 07-30-2014
The time has arrived, friends! This Saturday, the 5th annual Walgreens Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival lands on the banks of the James River at Rocketts Landing. From races to dances to food and beyond, the Dragon Boat Race is turning into one stellar tradition here, so much that Richmond.com has named it a "Best of Outdoors Favorite" three years in a row! So, if you've not yet checked out the event (or if you've been anxiously waiting for the day to arrive), we're ready to welcome you down to the river for a day of cultural fun.

Dragon Boat teams line the docks on the James River as spectators observe from land.

Organized by Sports Backers, the Dragon Boat Festival is a daylong event that marries boat races and a festival celebrating Chinese traditions. Teams comprised of 20 people (plus one steersperson and one drummer) paddle together down a 500-meter stretch of the river in 40-foot canoes adorned with lavish dragonheads — in syncopated rhythm to a beating drum. This year, 26 teams are competing for top place. While most of them hail from RVA, a handful of teams are coming from out of town, such as Baltimore, Raleigh and Washington, D.C.

Team building is just as much of the Dragon Boat experience as is winning a race itself!

Throughout the event, visitors can also enjoy a variety of authentic Chinese performances on land, featuring traditional dances, costumes and more! Also on land will be a "food marketplace" and a "vendor & exhibitor village" featuring a Walgreens Health & Wellness Village where you can get blood pressure, melanoma and body composition testing, receive chair massages and even donate blood! Relay Foods will also be on hand featuring their local and organic groceries.

Traditional Chinese dancing entertains and inspires audiences on land.

Each year, we have a blast hosting Richmond's International Dragon Boat Festival right around the river. With our inviting views, grassy banks and close downtown proximity, we love seeing RVA come out to Rocketts Landing for a day outside with family and friends. We look forward to another great event!

The Dragon Boat team that wins together, smiles together, too!

  • What: Walgreens Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival
  • Where: Rocketts Landing, near the Intermediate Terminal
  • When: Saturday, August 2, 2014
  • Time: Races start at 9:00 a.m. and event ends at 3:00 p.m.
  • Cost: Free and open to the public