Take Part in the Dragon Boat Festival

It is true…

After much consideration, Partners in Education and the Board of Trustees are sad to announce that the Dragon Boat Summer Learning Festival & Races will be canceled this year. Due to the crazy amounts of construction going on at International Park and Downtown in general, we thought it was best to take the year off and take some time to re-evaluate the event.

Stay tuned for updates on when the dragons will return at toledodragonboat.org.


2017 Dragon Boat Summer Learning Festival

Saturday, July 22, 2017 at International Park on the Maumee River downtown.

Partners in Education would like thank all paddlers, steersman, captains, volunteers, and sponsors for a wonderful event! We appreciate you and your continued support which allows us to further our impact within the community. Proceeds from this event will support programs and services including:

  • Leveraging Resources via Business, School & Community Partnerships
  • Mentoring and Tutoring Programs in Northwest Ohio Schools
  • Career and College Coaching Programs
  • Enrichment Programs for Parents
  • Professional Development for Nonprofits Serving Children


ABOUT Dragon Boating

With a history of more than 2,500 years, the sport of dragon boating originated in ancient China.  The legends include warring states, radical politics and fierce loyalty and passion written poetically by one man – Qu Yuan. This man was exiled from the land that he loved, and in turn committed suicide in the Miluo River in a final form of protest against the corruption of his era.  During an attempt to save Qu Yuan, the locals took to the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles to keep the water demons and evil spirits away.

Modern day dragon boating has few elements to this ancient tale remaining.  However, it has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport, bringing together millions across the globe annually.  Festivals with traditional Asian flare and culture are commonplace alongside a dragon boat race in recent years.  High level competitions have also been organized since the mid 1970s.

But the sport’s growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level.  Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising, and tool for corporate team building.  Local communities combine these two concepts to breath new life into their waterfront areas, and to stimulate their local economy.

Any age, size, ability and gender can learn to paddle on a dragon boat team.  20 paddlers are seated in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers.  The paddler’s job is to paddle in unison with the entire team. The drummer’s job is to beat the drum in sync with the paddlers and to motivate their team to the finish line.  A steersperson stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.

Fast Facts Toledo’s Dragon Boat Race

The Dragon Boat Sport:

 Stems from an ancient Chinese legend
 Each Dragon Boat is 42 feet long
 10 rows seat 20 paddlers
 A steersperson uses a 9 foot oar as a rudder, standing in the stern
 A drummer sits in a seat at the bow, facing the crew

Each boat has a 25 Person Roster:

 20 Paddlers, minimum of 8 female paddlers must be in the boat at all times
 1 drummer (minimum age of 10 years old)
 1 Steersperson
 3 alternate paddlers allowed and can be rotated in any way that your team would
 All paddlers must be 16 years of age or older

Practice Week before the big day:

 2 free practice sessions are included for each registered team and will be scheduled during
the evenings of July 17th through July 20th
 Practices will be professionally supervised and will include the basics of paddling and the basics of racing


 Paddles, life vests, boats and drums will be provided to each team at
practice and on the day of the race. A professional steersperson is part of some sponsorship packages or can be made available at an additional cost.

Race Day:

 The event is located at the dock area of International Park, Toledo, OH on Front Street.
 Teams are assigned a staging area to set up. Tents are available for an additional cost or may be brought to the event by the team. Feel free to bring coolers, cook-out gear and anything else you want to enjoy the day.
 Each team will race in 3 heats, there is no elimination
 The course is 400 meters in a straight line with 4 lanes
Division winners will be awarded in a post racing awards ceremony
The winning team will be awarded the Rasmus/Niehous Dragon Boat Cup