BY JAMES FARRELL
This weekend, colorful Chinese “dragon boats” will take to the waters of Flushing Meadow Corona Park for the 27th annual festival and races.
This year’s Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 12 and 13 as more than 200 rowing teams will hit the water in a weekend-long series of competitive races.
Those racers will be flying across the lake in Chinese dragon boats—extravagant, colorful boats with bows and sterns that are distinguished by elaborately designed dragon heads and tails. The boats were born from a Chinese legend regarding fishermen who unsuccessfully raced out into the Ni Lo River to save a drowning poet named Qu Yuan. The Dragon Boat Festival is held every year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month.
The festival boasts a wide program for guests on shore, including food, arts and crafts, live music, dancing and more. On Aug. 12, the Echo Music Jam Band will bring a fusion of Canto and American pop music, beginning at 1 p.m. And at 1 p.m. on Aug. 13, the Kafele Bandele Group will perform its unique blend of jazz, hip hop and R&B.
Other acts include orchestras and steel drum ensembles. At the festival’s arts and crafts tent, storyteller Jonathan Kruk will entertain children with stories known as “Dragon Tales,” which will be presented all day on both days.
The festival is free to attend and special buses will take guests from the Citi Field Subway station to the festival site from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A MetroCard is required for the service and the fare is $2.75 per ride.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.