Foundation | News Article

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Paddles up! Registration is open for 2017 Dragon Boat Festival on Sept. 9

The Dragon Boat Festival will again be held at Warriors' Path State Park, and this year will benefit the Circle of Hope, a fund that assists cancer patients.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Known as one of the biggest community events of the year, the Dragon Boat Festival is officially open for registration.

The 12th annual Mountain States Foundation Dragon Boat Festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 9, at Warriors’ Path State Park. This year’s event benefits the Circle of Hope, which raises money to help cancer patients.

Circle of Hope provides patients and their families with gas cards, enabling transportation to and from treatment without worrying about the expense of gas. It also offers other services and items related to cancer care like medications, dental assistance and public transportation.

The Dragon Boat Festival features fun for the entire family in support of a good cause. The festival is a free, all-day event offering activities for everyone to enjoy. Along with the dragon boat races, there will be a health fair, a dragon boat kids’ race for children ages 7-12, and other children’s activities.

Teams are encouraged to sign up soon to ensure their spot in the race and get a discounted rate for early registration.

“Not only is this a great fundraiser for advancing the region’s health care, it is an outstanding event to bring together businesses in the community for a friendly competition,” said Chad Nimrick, general manager for Bell Helicopter, U.S. sites. By sponsoring one, and sometimes two dragon boats, we view the festival as an excellent opportunity for employee engagement, team-building and fun for our families.”

The registration fee for a corporate team is $900; for nonprofit and community organizations, it’s $850. Teams that register before Aug. 1 will get a discount of $100.

The boats, which are brought in for the festival from Nova Scotia, have a traditional Chinese design and are decorated to resemble a dragon. Often celebrated in Western culture, dragon boat racing has become an international sport requiring skill and water craftsmanship. A team of paddlers – led by a drummer who sits in the front of the boat – uses strength and coordination to race against competing boats. A sweep sits at the rear of the boat to steer it.

To sign up, visit

For more information, contact Marsha Hammond at 423-302-3124.