Dragon Boat Festival in USA

How do people celebrate Dragon Boat Festival in USA? When the Dragon Boat Festival is coming, many Chinese families in USA will make Zongzi. There are also various Zongzi on sale in supermarkets. Besides, dragon boat races have been popular cultural events in USA. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Denver and other cities will held large-scale dragon boat races regularly.

Top 8 Dragon Boat Races across the United States

1. Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Time: Cancelled in 2020
Place: Sloan’s Lake Park, Denver
This Chinese Dragon Festival Denver is a two-day event that held at Sloan’s Lake Park annually. It started from 2001 and has become one of the most popular dragon boat races in USA. In addition to the dragon boat race, there will be exhibitions of traditional Chinese folk arts such as Chinese calligraphy, ink painting, paper-cutting, folk fan, oil paper umbrella, and various straw hats.

2. Boston Dragon Boat Festival

Time: Cancelled in 2020
Place: Charles River near Weeks Footbridge
The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is the oldest Dragon Boat Festival in USA. It began with a small-scale event in 1979, and now it grows into the largest cultural event among Chinese American. Half of the dragon boat race attendants are non-Chinese from all over the United States and even Canada. The dragon boat is not only a competition, but also a great chance to learn Chinese culture. At the Boston Dragon Boat Festival, there is also a Chinese drum performance. On the shore of the competition, there are traditional Chinese cuisines for everyone to taste.

3. Dragon Boat Festival in New York

Time: Cancelled in 2020 and postponed to August 2021 
Place: Flushing Meadow Lake, Corona Park               
Started from 1990, the Dragon Boat Festival in New York is also one of the oldest Dragon Boat Festival in USA. Teams from all countries will be invited to participate in the dragon boat race. There will also be performances of dragon dances and lion dances. There are many booths on site too to display traditional Chinese snacks, handicrafts, and a number of souvenirs for attendants and visitors. Chinese martial arts, Chinese painting and calligraphy performances are extremely popular.

4. San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival

Time: Cancelled in 2020, rescheduled on September 18 and 19, 2021
Place: Lake Merritt
On the Dragon Boat Festival, San Francisco's Chinatown will held a dragon and lion dance parade.
People will come out to streets to experience the atmosphere of the Dragon Boat Festival in USA. The San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival has been held since 1996, and more than 120 teams would take part in the dragon boat races every year. Each team will hang a team flag, mostly marked by dragons.

5. Houston Dragon Boat Festival

Time: August 1 - 2, 2020, submit to be postponed
Place: Lake Pat Cleburne
The Houston Dragon Boat Festival is organized by the Texas Dragon Boat Association and attracts many participants and audiences. There are more than 20 dragon boat teams from other states and other countries. At the Houston Dragon Boat Festival, you can also enjoy Chinese food, martial arts performances and Polynesian dances. A children's playground will provide endless fun for your children as well.

6. Long Beach World Cup Dragon Boat Tournament

Time: Late October, 2020
Place: Marine Stadium, Long Beach, Los Angeles
The Long Beach World Cup Dragon Boat Race was founded in 1997, and it is the most athletic and competitive dragon boat race in the United States. This annual Dragon Boat Festival in USA is held at the end of July or early August usually, at Marine Stadium where the rowing competition of 1936 Los Angeles Olympic Games was held. There is traditional Chinese folk arts show, too, including kung fu, dance, music performances, Chinese calligraphy, ink painting, paper-cutting and so on.

7. Philadelphia International Dragon Boat Race

Time: October 3, 2020
Place: Schuylkill River
The Philadelphia Dragon Boat Race has become an annual dragon boat feast. Dragon boat teams from all over the world will compete on the Schuylkill River. At the same time, the entourage of the teams and the audiences will also open a gourmet party on the river bank; barbecue, burgers, cookies, cakes and other homemade foods will be offered.

8. Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race

Time: Cancelled in 2020
Place: Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Portland, Oregon
The Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race, which began in 1989 and has been bringing exciting traditional Chinese activities to Portland for more than 20 years. On the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge in Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, an exciting four-team competition is held every 9 minutes. More than 80 teams from different regions and countries will join.

 Further Reading:
 Dragon Boat Races
 What is a Dragon Boat? - All You Need to Know about Dragon Boating
 Dragon Boat Festival Celebration around the World
- Last updated on Apr. 28, 2023 by Catherine He -
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