Dragon boats return

23rd annual Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash is Aug. 9-10

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
Members of the Green Dragon Slayers race dragon to dragon with the SRD69 team at the 2018 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

The Badger Lake Dragon Boat Association continues with 23 years of dragon boating in Webster County Aug. 9-10.

The Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash is a fun filled, family friendly weekend that includes everything from the biggest dance party the beach at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park has seen, to community teams competing in the centuries old Chinese sport of dragon boat racing.

Starting Friday night Aug. 9 through noon on Saturday Aug. 10, there will be a silent auction that benefits UnityPoint Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center’s Cancer Center. This portion of the program is put together by the Breast Cancer Survivor team. This is the 12th year for the silent auction. It features an assortment of items and baskets donated by individuals and businesses from around the community.

Gates for the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash open at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 9 at the park north of Fort Dodge. The team dinner, children’s activities, presentation of colors, introduction of teams and awakening of the dragon ceremony are all part of the night’s celebration.

The opening night festivities also include headlining band Boogie & the Yo-Yo’z. The band has played a variety of shows from birthday parties, weddings, local festivals, and headlining events. The band plays pop. country and rock music.

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Lynne McKern, of Randall, the drummer for the Life Is Bliss Dragon Boat team, surveys the competition in her “Fun Head Gear,” at the 2018 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

On Saturday, Aug. 10 beginning at 7 a.m., the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast will be held and the racing starts at 8 a.m. Racing will go on throughout the day, with each race consisting of one 300-meter heat. All teams will compete in at least one time trial race. The teams will be ranked based on total times of time trial race/races and grouped into divisions based on those rankings.

The four divisions that are included in the race are:

• Elite Division, which consists of 20 paddlers and drummer. These are the most serious competitors from around the country. The elite division must have eight women paddlers on the boat.

• Community Division, which consists of 29 paddlers and drummer. This is based upon three divisions: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. A steersman is provided.

• Breast Cancer Survivors/Cancer, which consists of 20 paddlers and drummer.

-Messenger file photo by Hans Madsen
All together now. One of the teams participating is reflected in the water as they paddle out to the starting line during the 2018 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

• High School and Youth Divisions, which consists of 20 paddlers and a drummer. Paddlers in this division are from the ages of 11 to 18 years old.

The top teams in each division will compete for divisional championships. A Breast Cancer Survivor Ceremony precedes the divisional racing championships and the day ends with the awards ceremony. A variety of food and drink will be available. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be brought on site. Beer will be available for purchase.

For those interested in participating in a little friendly competition, more information and forms can be found at http://www.badgerlakedragonboating.com. There is also room on teams for individuals without their own team and high school and youth paddlers are encouraged to reach out to Badger Lake Dragon Boating to give dragon boating a try. Those interested in competing or trying out dragon boating are encouraged to contact Badger Lake Dragon Boating for information on how to participate.

For those who may be interested in volunteering to assist with this event, there are many opportunities to do so. Most volunteer positions are needed in four-hour shifts on Friday and Saturday, with some shifts starting earlier than others. Opportunities to volunteer include:

• Concessions

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Morgan Smith, of Ames, a member of the SRD69 Dragon Boat Team, makes a few final adjustments to her inflatable pig costume at the 2018 Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park. The SRD69 team is made up of employees of the USDA Labs in Ames.

• Merchandise Sales

• Parking

• Registration

• Information Desk

• Set-up/Clean-up

• Starting line

• Staging/Boat Loading

• Finish Line/Timing

• Runners/Results Board

• Children’s Activities

• Gates Staff

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