New festival events consist of six new ten person boats and several Special/Invitational Cup races. A Special 20th Hong Kong SAR Anniversary Invitational, the Municipal Invitational race, featuring various teams from our elected officials, Mayor De Blasio, Queens Borough President Katz, Congresswoman Meng and Assemblyman Kim’s office were invited to field teams as well as the NYC government agencies NYPD, NYFD, DEP and Parks Department. Other special races include the Hong Kong Family Invitational, The Health Care Invitational, A Senior’s Invitational, Women’s Invitational, Media Challenge and The Educational Invitational. This year’s Corporate Invitational looks to be a good one, with sixteen Corporate Teams joining us to race for their companies. The Festival will be held at Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York rain or shine, and admission is free.
“Personally, and as a representative of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, it is of utmost importance to engage with the amazing and diverse cultural groups of the World’s Borough. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is perfect example of our communities coming together in the spirit of tradition and competition,” says Manager of Committee Development & Member Engagement, Brett Swanson. “I’d like to thank the organizing committee along with HKDBF Chairman and Queens Chamber Board Member, Henry Wan, for putting together such a wonderful event. Good luck to all those who will be battling on the water!”
HKDBF-NY, an international, multi-cultural celebration and sporting event, the largest multicultural Festival in New York and the largest festival of its kind in the U.S. HKDBF-NY keeps up the age old tradition of Dragon Boat Racing in colorful, custom made teak boats, which are virtual works of art gliding on water. Custom made by a small coterie of craftsmen in Hong Kong, weighing one ton each, colorfully painted with a Dragon head at the front and Dragon tail at the rear, the boats are piloted by up to 20 crewmen, including 18 paddlers, a drummer and steers person. For twenty-six successful years HKDBF-NY has attracted a diverse, multi-cultural audience of more than 50,000 attendees throughout North America. With a record number of teams participating 200+ well-trained teams, involving more than 2,500 participants competing from across the U.S. and Canada, this year’s festival is expected to be notable in its scale and fierce competition.
“We are happy to get great corporate and community supports, over 200 teams will participate in our dragon boat festival this year,” says Henry Wan. “We are one of the largest multicultural and sporting event in NYC, please bring your family to see the exciting dragon boat racing, enjoy the diverse food court and international stage performances…and it is free.”
The festival takes place over two days on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, featuring events for the entire family. The opening day parade at noon on Saturday, Aug. 12th will be followed by the New York City Heritage Championship Races. The U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship finals will be held Saturday/Sunday, with the teams vigorously competing for their share of the cash & prizes. Racing starts at 9:00 a.m. and events last throughout the day until approximately 5:00 p.m. each day, rain or shine. Other festival events consist of the NYC Heritage Open, corporate youth, charity race, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional Dragon dance, musical and other diverse performances and demonstrations of folk arts and crafts.
The tradition of Dragon Boat Racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. to protest against his emperor’s policies. The locals raced in their boats in an attempt to rescue the poet. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This was the beginning of Dragon Boat Racing
Admission to the HKDBF-NY is Free, Events Take Place Rain or Shine .
Directions to the Festival by car – take the Long Island Expressway to Van Wyck Expressway to exit 11 south, then stay on service road to the Park. Parking is severely limited. Please take the MTA or carpool.
Directions to the Festival by Bus/Subway – Again, this year we’ve worked with the MTA to insure easy and safe transportation to the Festival site. Festival goers can use their MetroCard to take the #7 Train to the CitiField. Stop and transfer from there to special MTA shuttle buses that will take them directly to the Festival site, or they can walk from the CitiField stop (about 15 minutes) or take the colorful park trolley to the festival site. Parking on-site is limited, you can park at CitiField and take the special MTA shuttle with your MetroCard or use correct change.
This Year’s Sponsors Include ; the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, NY; Corporate Supporter HSBC Bank USA.,N.A.; Con Edison, New York Community Bank, Toyota, Shanghai Commercial Bank, New York -Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, Nielsen, Flushing Bank, UPS, AARP, New York Hospital Queens, DELTA, Cathay Bank, iBBTalk, Verizon, Macy’s, DKMS, Vallo Transportation, Ltd., Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Office of the Queensborough President, Melinda Katz, NYC&Co, Discover Queens. Additional support provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board and Geico.
Media & Creative Partners: WNBC TV 4, New York Daily News, Sing Tao Daily News, The Queens Courier, GoodNews Broadcast.com, MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc.(AM1480, Sino Television, Sinocast, M-Weekly Magazine), Fusia Communications, Inc., Inak Design. Additional support provided by The Times Ledger Newspaper Group,YELP, Blank Slate Media.