“Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival”; The Cultural Event of the Year
Miami, FL (March 14th, 2005) - After a series of two successful years, the annual cultural event is back; bigger and (expected to be even) more grandiose this coming year. The third annual Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will reoccur in the most beautiful location in Miami, Brickell Key, right next to the luxurious Mandarin Oriental. This year the festival will be October 22nd & 23rd, 2005. The event is made possible by The Miami Overseas Chinese Association, a non-profit 501c(3) organization together with the Miami Dragon Boat Club Inc. The focus of the event is to promote a 2000 year old cultural tradition as well as physical fitness. The festival is a time for family and friends to come together at a community event like no other.
Throughout state and local governmental organizations, statesmen have shown unanimously support for this cultural festival. City of Miami Mayor, Manny Diaz, (Honorary Event Chairman and Official Host for the festival) has shown undivided enthusiasm and support. Miami City Commissioner (Honorary Race chairman) Joe Sanchez states, “Miami’s greatest asset is its rich tapestry of multicultural people. An event that celebrates the tradition of the Chinese Dragon Boat will add to our City’s rich cultural offerings.” Tomas Regalado, Miami City Commissioner (Festival Grand Marshall) eloquently concludes: “The Miami-Hong Kong Dragon boat festival is an essential cultural link for Miami and the Far East. Miami’s many multicultural links qualifies us as a world class city.”
Dragon boat racing is a sporting activity that has withstood the test of time. Today, according to Paddler Magazine, this ancient traditional sport has become the fastest growing outdoor water sport in the world, with over 10,000 teams worldwide and over 50 million fans. The excitement of this sport comes from a fusion of traditional folklore and modern euphoria of team work, enthusiasm and strategy planning. The Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival boats are standard in accordance with the International Dragon Boat Federation, measuring 45ft in length, 4ft in width, and carries 20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and 1 steersperson. Teams will race down a 250-500 meter waterway. No experience is needed to participate; only an enthusiastic heart, willingness to work in teams, and most importantly to have fun. This festival allows for a sunny outdoor Miami Experience while training and becoming physically fit.
The Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival has already become a mainstream event in the city of Miami with participation in the Three Kings Day Parade and the Greater Miami Mardi Gras Festival, boats were paraded through the streets displaying their striking yet conventional designs.