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Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival set to hit water at Gorge Waterway

Event includes food and entertainment
Paddlers rush through the water at last year’s Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival. (Ian Faris photo)

Dragon boat racers from the Island and lower mainland are set to roar through the Gorge Waterway this weekend (Aug 26 to 27) for the Vancouver Island Dragon Boat Festival.

Hosted by the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, the event promises to be a “full-weekend racing extravaganza” with food, vendors and 11 entertainment acts.

The festival will also see a new pentathlon race format, where paddlers will compete in a cumulative weekend of racing in 100-metre, 200-metre, 500-metre, 1,500-metre and flag relay events.

“These races will be very spectator-friendly, with easily accessed vantage points on the water right across from our club,” said Erik Ages, general manager of the hosting Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, in a release.

There will also be a beer tent and vendor stall operated by the Ukrainian Canadian Cultural Society of Vancouver with funds supporting incoming Ukrainian refugees.

Entertainment acts will include the Lion Dancers from the Wong Sheung Kung Fu Club, the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers, Pearls of the South Pacific, the Victoria Academy of Ballet, Chinese Dance Victoria and the Uninari Taiko Drummers.

Nanaimo’s Funkanometry Dance Duo is set to hit the stage at 11:45 on Sunday.

Local bands will also be performing throughout the weekend, including Back Beat, The Distractions, The Pick Ups and The Soul Shakers.

Racing will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

READ MORE: Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend