April 11, 2008 DC Festival Fully Booked, Earliest Date Ever

The 7th Washington DC Dragonboat Festival is fully booked for teams and is only accepting further registrations onto its waiting list according to festival organizers.

The festival, to be held May 17 and 18 on the Georgetown Waterfront at Thompsons Boat House and across from the Watergate, is sponsored by the Washington, D.C. Chinese Women's League Association. 1300 to 1500 novice and experienced paddlers, representing 50-60 teams, are expected to compete in 2 days of exciting and colorful racing along the Potomac River, according to the organizer's press release, which continues:

Boats will race in heats of 4 to 5 along 250 and 500 meter courses between the Kennedy Center and Thompson Boat Center. The racing is expected to begin at 9am and end at approximately 5pm on both days. Scheduled at noon on Saturday May 17th, the opening ceremonies will consist of a special Eye-Dotting Ceremony to awaken the dragon boats from their year long slumber and a Carnation Ceremony in honor of the Breast Cancer Survivors.

This year's festival features a special performance by 10 Taiwanese drummers. The group was established in 2000 and has performed more than 500 times around the world. Through an arrangement with the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Representative Office, the group will be touring the US in May and will perform for the DC Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday May 18th as a part of the closing ceremonies. As in previous years, cultural performance and exhibits by local groups are also being scheduled throughout the weekend.

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