Now Begins the Dragon Boat Festival

Photo: Lisa Ender

This weekend, Grand Marais, MN hosts what may be the most festive paddling event, anywhere. And UpNorthica is not only there… we’ve got someone in the boat!

Yes, it’s once again time for the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival. With teams of paddlers competing in long, dragon-ish looking boats, the races in the Harbor are the main attraction of the weekend. Team captains beat large drums in the bow, to keep everyone’s paddle strokes in synch. Groups from across Minnesota and beyond, come to battle for hard-won victory.

Us, we’re personally rooting for our sponsored team Off the Edge; an all-women’s group whose ranks include none other than UpNorthica staffer, Pam Wright!

Bitter rivalries, war drums, vessels racing through the water — sound like a Viking battle? The festival’s roots are actually a little more friendly than that.

Conceived of as a means to celebrate and benefit the Grand Marais community, the three days also feature a dragon-themed parade, a public breakfast, live music, outdoor recreation demos (and, you would think, a BBQed dragon dinner, but alas…)

Per the festival’s site, proceeds will be split between local non-profits, including North House Folk School and radio station WTIP.

Keep your eyes on our Facebook page for photos and updates (or, if you haven’t “Liked” us yet, go on ahead). And of course, we’ll be posting when Pam and her team completely dominate the Harbor.

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