Dragons Awaken Saturday at High Noon

March 26, 2010

The public is invited to the official beginning of the Dragon Boat race season at Saturday's 'Awakening the Dragons' annual ceremony. At noon on Saturday, March 27, an ancient Buddhist ceremony will take place at RiverPlace Marina (1510 SW Harbor Way -- at the flag circle at the south end of Waterfront Park), where the eyes of the Dragon Boats will be opened in preparation for the 22nd Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race, produced by the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

This event will feature Buddhist blessings, costumed lion dancing and drumming, welcoming speeches and numerous dragon boats. Attendees will include Buddhist Monks (from the Hui Lin Temple in Los Angeles), Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Director General Daniel Liao (from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle), and Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Robert Hansen.

Awakening the Dragons officially begins the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat race season. Starting Sunday, 80-plus teams (with close to 2,000 paddlers) will each get three one-hour practice sessions a week with the Dragon Boats to prepare for the June 12 & 13 competition in three race divisions: Mixed, Women's and High School.