Join the fun at Montana’s Annual Dragon Boat Festival the first week of September. Plan your visit today.
Teams from Montana, and across the U.S. and Canada compete. Watch teams consisting of 20 paddlers, a steerer and a drummer race to the finish in 46- foot-long Hong Kong-style boats.
Enjoy live music, children’s activities and a Made-in-Montana vendor fair. Food and beverage vendors will be onsite.
Don’t miss this free event on Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River. The festival is expected to attract 3,000 spectators and 2,000 racers, drawing visitors from the Pacific Northwest and Canada, where the sport of Dragon Boat Racing has become increasingly popular.
Dragon boating is a very synchronized & visual sport. Synchronization creates harmony on the boat. Proper strategy and execution are essential factors in a harmonious team. The ultimate goal is for the team members in the front of the boat paddling in perfect harmony with those paddling in the back of the boat. This combination allows the dragon boat to quickly glide through the water like a bullet.
Dragon boat racing is a canoe-sport, and began as a modern international sport in Hong Kong in 1976. These boats are typically made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and other lightweight materials. For competition events, dragon boats are generally rigged with decorative Chinese dragon heads and tails. At other times (such as during training), decorative regalia is usually removed, although the drum often remains aboard for drummers to practice. For races, there are 18-20 people in a standard boat, and 8-10 in a small boat, not including the steersperson (helm) and the drummer.