Boston Dragon Boat Festival

Boston Dragon Boat Festival

Participate in North America’s longest running dragon boat festival, drawing more than 20,000 competitors and spectators every year. This year marks the 34th anniversary of the first appearance of dragon boats on the Charles River. The 500-meter course challenges competitors in their 39-foot Hong Kong-style dragon boats to race to the finish line. Along with dragon boat races, the festival also presents performances from various Asian cultures, Asian food, and arts and crafts representing traditions of this ancient Chinese celebration.

Dragon Boating is a 3,000 year old Chinese tradition which made its North American debut, courtesy of the Boston Children’s Museum & the Cambridge River Festival in 1979. In 1980, Boston began hosting the Dragon Boat Festival at the Esplanade where they raced along the lagoon and performances were showcased in the Hatch Shell. They’ll have a combination of Dragon Boat Race clubs, collegiate, high school, corporate & community non-profits & Breast Cancer teams that enter.

Everyone races for different reasons, whether that is for fun, a really good workout, team building (used by corporations to foster team work ethic), psychological empowerment, or plain old competition. The festival is about sharing multi-Asian cultural history w/ music, dance, drums, martial arts, songs & arts & crafts and of course there is an Asian food court.

Festival Schedule

  • Saturday, June 8, 2013 – Races only

MIT Pierce Boathouse
8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Dragon Boat Races, Time trials)

  • Sunday, June 9, 2013 – Races and Cultural Festival

Along Charles River Near Harvard
Boston Side – Docks
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Dragon Boat Races, Finals)

Cambridge Side – Along Memorial Drive
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Asian Food)

Cambridge Side – Main Tent
12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Arts and Crafts & Asian Cultural Performances)

Race Teams

There are more than 50 teams that have registered for the 2013 Dragon Boat Festival. See the list of participating  teams.

Race Results

Official race results from the festival will be posted as they become available. We are looking forward to another great weekend of racing!

Festival Banquet

Join us on the evening of Saturday June 8, 2013, for the Festival Banquet.  All are welcome – this not just for teams!  If you are not with a team, you will have to buy a table for your group of 10.

Saturday, June 8, 2013


$350 for a table of 10 guests

10-Course Banquet Style Dinner

Sample Menu from prior years’ banquets:

  • Chinese style barbecue appetizer platter
    (roast pork, duck, chicken, five spice beef with jellyfish)
  • Salt/pepper squid and pork chops
  • Walnut shrimp with mayonnaise sauce
  • West Lake beef soup
  • Crispy chicken
  • Twin lobsters with ginger and scallion
  • Sirloin steak with Chinese broccoli

Festival admission: Free!

To the boathouse 
To the festival

For more information, please visit


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