PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland is known for its quirky interests, and nothing says “Portland” like the Rose City’s annual Dragon Boat Festival.
More than 40 teams from Oregon, Washington and California will meet at Tom McCall Park on the Willamette River to kick off the competition, hosted by DragonSports USA, on Saturday and Sunday.
Races begin at 9 a.m. and are free to watch. The Portland Fire Department will begin the race by spraying water into the sky from their fire boat.
DragonSports USA is a nonprofit based in Portland with 2,500 members. Those involved in the organization can paddle recreationally or competitively, and teams include the Golden Dragons, a age 55+ team with an average age of 72 years.
Those cheering on the racers can also explore six food vendors, which event organizers say will feature “everything from pizza to sandwiches to hot dogs wrapped in bacon to African cuisine.” Fans can also order from the race’s Dragon Box food vendor.
The event also includes a beer garden, face painting and other live entertainment.