8/29: Dragon Boat Festival in the Flats

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Even if you can’t get yourself up at 9 a.m. for the opening ceremonies, you’ve got all day to mosey on down to the West Bank of the Flats to catch the annual Dragon Boat Festival, sponsored by the Cleveland Rowing Foundation and the Flats Oxbow Association. It’s a celebration of a lot of things: Asian culture, amateur athletics and the multiple uses of the Cuyahoga River. The colorful 40-foot boats with their ornate dragonhead prows will be plying the river from the dock near Shooter’s to the Nautica Stage in a series of sprints from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Anyone can register and be part of a team, with or without experience. Don’t worry — you’ll get to practice. But teamwork is more important than individual strength and skill, as 20 rowers propel each craft under the guidance of a steersman and paced by a drummer. It’s free to watch, and there’ll be booths and food on the boardwalk. Proceeds from registration fees and donations will go to the Gathering Place which provides support programs for cancer patients and their families. — Anastasia Pantsios

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