Posted by: cherylyoung | July 1, 2013


Make a date to attend the Nanaimo Dragon boat festival and help in the fight against breast cancer

We welcome you to join us at the 2010 Save On Foods

 Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival to be held on

July 9-11 2010

Come and Celebrate the Spirit of Dragon Boat Racing

on the most beautiful waterfront harbour of

Maffeo Sutton Park

The 2010 Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragonboat Festival

 promises to be the best and biggest ever – more teams,

more festivities and more to celebrate in the 2010

 version of Nanaimo’s most popular summer event.

Teams from all over BC and the US will take part in the

 8th annual Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat

Festival  – a weekend of competition, camaraderie

and celebration on Nanaimo’s waterfront.

The event is made that much more meaningful to the

 community because its purpose is to create awareness

 and raise money for the fight against cancer locally.


This year we dedicate our Festival to Alex Marriott,

who  passed away on February 6, 2010.


 Alex was a foundingmember of the Save On Foods

 Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival.

With his imposing stature, big grin and larger than

life personality, Alex captivated and inspired us all.

Infamously known for the words “It’ll be HUGE”, we

 encourage you to join us to celebrate the incredible

legacy he has left for us and make it happen.


This is truly Nanaimo’s finest festival  Paddlers unite

in the fight for Breast Canacer.


 The origin of dragon boat racing can be traced to

events that happened in southern China over

 2,000 years ago.

 Originally, boats adorned with dragon heads were

part of a fertility rite as a way to encourage plentiful

rains and a good harvest.

Dragon boat racing, within the context of a festival,

became much more important in Chinese culture

 with  the tragic events surrounding Qu Yuan

(pronounced Chu Yuan) around 277 B.C.

 Qu was a senior minister, diplomat, and poet in

 the Ch’u feudal kingdom.

As a man of integrity and wisdom, he gave truthful

advice  to the king, advice that angered his political



 These rivals persuaded the king to banish Qu Yuan.

 Despondent over his exile and the subsequent decline

 of the government, Qu put stones in his pocket and

drowned  himself in the Mi Lo River.

When local fishermen raced out to rescue him, they

beat  their drums and splashed with their paddles to

scare the  fish and water dragons away from

 Qu Yuan’s body.

They also threw rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo

leaves into the water, hoping that the fish would eat

the dumplings  and leave the body alone.


To commemorate their beloved Qu Yuan, the people

 of southern China staged dragon boat races to

remember the day when they raced into the river in an

 attempt to save him.

The dragon boat races, and the serving of rice

 dumplings  or rice cakes, became an annual event

 on the fifth day  of the fifth month, believed to be the

 day that Qu Yuan drowned in the Mi Lo River

Preceding the actual races, some festivals still practice

 the ancient ritual of “Awakening the Dragon.”

 An eye-dotting ceremony awakens the dragon and

brings out its fire, which gives the boats and their

 crews the  strength of the dragon.


Information for Participants


Local practices and training information

Train for the Save On Foods Nanaimo Dragon Boat



All local teams in the Nanaimo area wishing to enter a

team in the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival must

participate in a Dragon Boat Program.

 The Nanaimo Paddling Centre (A GO Centre) is the

 official  local training centre for the Festival and

 offers a wide variety of program options for all ages

 and abilities.


Nanaimo Paddling Centre Tel. 250-754-1991 Email: info @ Web:






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