Chicago Southland’s Dragon Boat Fever Happening in Blue Island
Lansing, Ill. – Dragon Boating is back in Blue Island for 2017, and it’s bigger and better than ever.
The 2nd Annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled for Saturday, June 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at MWRD Waterfall Park along the Cal-Sag, Blue Island, IL (Corner of Fulton and Chatham St.). The festival is improved over the past year in that it includes team practices, dragon boat races, music, vendor village featuring the Southland’s best food, craft beer, awards ceremony, and an after party on June 3rd at the Blue Island Beer Company.
This festival is a breath of new life for the historic Calumet-Sag Channel. Bringing people to the waterfront with a great festival like this is a slam dunk, being only 10 miles from Northwest Indiana and 15 miles from Chicago. Keep in mind, the newly opened Chatham Street pedestrian bridge is the perfect spot from which to take in this event. “This festival is the exact type of excitement needed to drive people back to Blue Island to see all the renovations and overall change happening to this specific area of the Southland,” stated Domingo Vargas, Mayor of Blue Island.
“We had a dream to move this festival to the MWRD Waterfall Park in Blue Island,” says Kevin Brown, festival organizer and community advocate.” “It’s an incredible spot for events; close to public transportation and both entertainment districts in town. But nobody had ever held anything there before. With a ton of support from the City of Blue Island, MWRD, along with the community, this event is poised to continue to grow in size and stature for years to come.”
The sport of Dragon Boat racing dates back more than 2,000 years originating in China and was used for religious purposes as a way of appeasing the rain gods. Boats have an ancient-styled dragon head and tail, while being filled with 20 paddlers, one steersperson to control the oar that is essentially the rudder and one person drumming in the front of the boat to keep time. “Aside from a great teambuilding event this race encourages great community, love of the water and helps us celebrate life here in the Chicago Southland,” stated Jim Garrett, President / CEO for the Chicago Southland CVB. Befitting of a community event, this is one sport that does encourage all ages and walks of life to be involved, because there is very little training. Dragon Boat racing is a great sport for men and women of all ages and abilities. Anyone can do it and have fun! Teamwork is everything. Synchronicity is more important than strength. A perfectly synchronized team will almost always beat a stronger, but less coordinated team.
Dragon Boat Festival activities begin with team practice sessions starting on Friday, June 2nd, with direction from Great White North Dragon Boat Racing, which also provides the dragon boats, paddles and life jackets for participants. The festival is now open for team and individual registration until May 27th at www.ChicagoDragonBoats.com. Come aboard for the chance at the ultimate bragging rights of being: Dragon Boat Festival Champions for 2017.
The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs. The Chicago Southland CVB markets the Chicago Southland region as a destination for leisure, meetings and conventions, group tour and sports events. For more information, go to VisitChicagoSouthland.com
Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau
Loren Petrakis-Mueller - Communications Manager
2304 173rd Street Lansing, IL 60438
Phone: 708-895-8200 Fax: 708-895-8288 Toll-free: 888-895-8233