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Dragon Boat Races

The Dragon Boat Races are the signature event of the Annapolis River Festival. Our Dragon Boat Teams are the heart of the festival. Entering a team is not only a unique opportunity to get out and enjoy the river, but it is a way to demonstrate your support for environmental initiatives that will keep our river healthy for generations to come. 

Eighteen teams will compete for the titles of: (1) Fastest Boat (2) Most team spirit (3) Most funds raised (prizes for the top 2 teams)

The races take place on the Annapolis River at the Festival grounds at Jubilee Park, Bridgetown, Annapolis County. The north bank of the Annapolis River provides space for spectators. Each team will have the chance to race in heats of 3 boats on a 300 m course. Each team will be guaranteed 2 races, with the chance of advancing to a consolation or championship round.


The dragon boat races will take place Saturday, July 13, beginning at 9 AM. Winning teams will be announced during the Dragon Boat Award ceremony, immediately after the final race, as soon as the final race has been completed.


Team Rules


1. A full team consists of 16 paddlers (minimum 14), 1 drummer, and 1-3 alternates. A qualified coxswain is provided to steer the boat. The minimum age for participation is 12 years of age. It is encouraged that each team include a minimum of 8 participants of each gender. PFDs and paddles will be provided for each team member. *see cancellation and delay policy in registration package for more details.


2. Each team must have a designated Team Captain who is responsible for coordinating team registration, collection of fees and waivers, and communicating with individual team members.


3. Teams are encouraged to identify a Pledge Captain, who will be responsible for distributing and collecting pledge forms, and encouraging team members to collect pledges.


Race Fees and Deadlines


Team fee: $1200 (includes event t-shirts for 20 team members).


Payment can be made in 2 instalments: $300 deposit required to secure space, due June 1; remainder of fee, $900, due July 1.


Deadline: Team registration is filled first come, first served. Your place will only be secured upon receipt of a completed registration form and deposit.


What to expect on-site

CARP’s Annapolis River Festival offers free admission with a number of activities provided at no cost, including kids activities, live music, and the skills village.


Dragon Boat teams are encouraged to bring a free standing tent or shelter for their team members to use throughout the day. An area will be designated for teams to set up their shelters.

Participants are encouraged to bring a camping chair and a re-usable water bottle. Water refill stations will be available at various locations on the Festival grounds.


Festival activities officially begin at 9 AM, however, Dragon Boat participants are required to arrive at 8 am for registration; this will be followed by an 8:30 AM race briefing and at 8:45 AM the first race will be staged. Food, coffee, and beverages will be available from a number of vendors on site throughout the day.

Please note that we are aiming to begin the final races by 12 PM. The top six teams will qualify for one of these rounds. This will mean a short committment on site as compared to previous years. We are hoping this allows racers to enjoy other elements of the Festival! We anticipate that race awards will be hosted ~ 2PM. 

Dragon Boat participants are welcome to participate in other Festival events. Some events may require advance registration.

How to get invovled...

Step 1. Request, complete and submit Team Registration form and entry deposit

Team registration is $1200 per boat; a deposit of $300 is due June 1. The fee includes participation in the races, and a team set of River Fest t-shirts. Registration forms are available online or from the Race Coordinator. Payments can be made by e-transfer, cheque, cash or credit card.

Teams are provided opportunity to identify preferred t-shirt colours from the list of options provided. Preferred colours will be assigned on a first come first served basis.

Step 2. Participant Package distributed to team captain

Participant packages will include a team t-shirt order form so that we can ensure the correct sizes are ordered. Packages will also include waiver forms or an electronic form can be accessed on the River Fest website.


Each team member will be required to complete a waiver form; waiver forms should be submitted in 1 package in advance of the event or at registration on Race Day; if choosing to use an electronic waiver instead, individuals must submit their electronic form by Monday, July 8 to allow follow up with Team Captains.

Step 3. Remaining race fee due and team t-shirt order form returned

T-shirt orders should be provided to the Race Coordinator, due June 1. If this form is not returned on time we cannot ensure that you will receive your preferred sizes. Final payment can be made through the CARP office via cash, cheque e-transfer or credit card.

Step 4. Pledge collection

Participants are encouraged to raise additional funds, which will support Clean Annapolis River Project. A special prize is available to two teams raising the most pledges. Details on the prizes are on the next page. Pledge sheets will be provided in the Participant Package. Charitable tax receipts will be available for pledges $25 or greater. Pledge sheets and funds should be submitted at team check-in on race day and are due by 1 PM for consideration towards the special prize.

Step 5. Race Day (July 13, 2024)

Teams must arrive for registration, t-shirt pick-up and race briefing at the time indicated to them by the Race Coordinator. All paperwork and funds raised are to be submitted prior to your first race. Participant safety during this event is our number one concern.


In the case that weather or river conditions pose serious risk to participants, the Festival Committee may consider race cancellation or delayed start times.

Register as an individual (*NEW*)...

In response to a) individual inquiries about joining a dragon boat team, and b) the occasional need for additional members for registered teams, we are creating a "waitlist" of individuals. Our coordinators will contact individuals on a first-come, first-served basis to fill spots. Signing up for the waitlist does not guarantee that you will be able to participate,  but we will do our best to accommodate everyone!

Sign-up for the waitlist here. 

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