|Dragon boat awaiting its oarsmen(and women).|
|Festival staff lining up to kick off the event.|
|The blind can row to the beat of the drum too.|
While a 2300 year old Chinese tradition, this festival is open to athletes from all backgrounds. Teams made up of mixed races, all women, government employees, corporate teams, and open teams (to include an all deaf team and a blind team as well), all were there to partake in friendly competition. The team names were slightly to mostly snarky, and could just make you chuckle out loud at times (Come on, "Out of Sight Dragons" for the blind team).
As the opening ceremony started, the sun broke through the clouds of the overcast morning as performances were given by the Formosa Music Melody Center from Taiwan to include a traditional Taoist Warrior trumpeting the start of the event to the music. After remarks from the MC, organizer, the Ambassador from Taiwan, and a ribbon cutting ceremony, the event was on its way.
As the teams started competing, it was obvious that while competitive, this was more of a community the supports each other. Smiles, greetings, and salutations could be heard back and forth between teams as they enjoyed the weather and the event itself. This might be something I head to every year now just to watch.
|The first two sets of teams ready for their races.|
|Crossing the finish line.|
|Returning from their heat.|