CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - About 1,800 paddlers will transform the Ashley River at Brittlebank Park into a race course for the 6th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. They've come from all around to race for the "Dragon Cup" as they compete in this ancient Chinese sport. Paddlers sit two-by-two in 45 foot wooden boats. They're guided by someone steering from the back, while a drummer in the front keeps them paddling in time.
Charleston's local group, Dragon Boat Charleston has been training teams in recent weeks to prepare for this year's festival races. Many groups use Dragon Boat racing and the festival for team building exercises. Dragon Boat Charleston uses this as its primary fundraiser during the year to support its wellness and recovery programs for cancer survivors in the Lowcountry. This year's festival will also include six teams comprised of cancer survivors traveling in from around the state. These six boats out there will compete against each other in a cancer division.
Boats compete in different races throughout the day. The first races start at 8:30, Saturday morning and races continue throughout the day. Awards will be handed out at 4:15.
The event at Brittlebank Park is free and will also include food vendors and a kids zone.
For more information on the festival you can click here.