Dragon boat paddlers to hit Capitol Lake for Saint Martin’s festival
2008 Dragon Boat Festival will draw teams from around the world
April 15, 2008
Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will host the third
annual Dragon Boat Festival, Sunday, April 27, at Heritage Park on
Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. The festival, presented by Saint
Martin’s in cooperation with the Washington Dragon Boat Association,
will feature 22 competing teams and is expected to draw 1,000 spectators
from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The event, which runs from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m., is free and open to the public.
This year’s Dragon Boat lineup features paddling talent from several
colleges and universities, including the 2006 champion, Shanghai
Maritime University. Also participating in the event are many local and
regional crews, including Hillsboro, Oregon-based Blind Ambition, an
award-winning dragon boat team whose members are blind and visually
impaired, and the cities of Lacey and Olympia, whose teams are currently
preparing for a neighborly showdown on Capitol Lake.
“Dragon boat racing dates back to fourth-century China, commemorating
famed poet, Qu Yuan, who threw himself in the Milo River to protest the
political turmoil and suffering of the people at that time,” explains
Josephine Yung, Saint Martin’s associate vice president for
international programs and development. “Today, dragon boat races are an
opportunity to celebrate culture and community.”
“Saint Martin’s is proud to once again host this event, bringing
together members of the local and international community for a unique,
ancient form of competition,” adds Yung.
The event kicks off at 9 a.m. with the “Dotting of the Eye” ceremony,
a blessing of the dragon boats, a lion dance and procession of the
teams. The races consist of three heats and two divisions, beginning at
10 a.m. and continuing until 4:45 p.m. The closing and awards will take
place at 5 p.m.
Saint Martin’s University has been actively involved in education and
cultural exchanges with China since 1995. Each year, members of Saint
Martin’s faculty travel to China to teach international business,
accounting and general education courses. Saint Martin’s students
regularly participate in China study tours and teaching internship
opportunities in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Zhuhai.
The Dragon Boat Festival is supported by a number of international
organizations throughout the Puget Sound area, including: Washington
China Relations Council; Washington State Department of Community, Trade
and Economic Development; World Trade Center; Thurston County Economic
Development Council and Chamber of Commerce; the Cities of Lacey,
Tumwater and Olympia; Olympia-Zhangzhou Sister City; and Olympia Chinese
Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic,
coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey,
Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict,
the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the
United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains.
Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through
its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts,
business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250
students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus,
and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army
Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and
Tacoma Community College.
For additional information:
Assistant vice president, Office of International
Programs and Development
Saint Martin’s University
Assistant director – community liaison, Office of
International Programs and Development
Saint Martin’s University
Dragon Boat Festival website.