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Press Release

45th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Media/press contact:

Gail Wang



Press Release: 45th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival


(Boston May 18, 2024) Come celebrate with us in the Year of Dragon the 45th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday, June 9th, 2024, from 12:00–5:00 PM rain or shine! The Boston Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is the oldest dragon boat festival in North America, founded in 1979. 


Located by John W. Weeks Footbridge on the Charles River, between JFK Street and Western Avenue, this year’s festival will feature 68 teams, with about 2000 paddlers from all over Massachusetts, New England, and New York.  They will compete in ten category groups with special races and medals for Collegiate, Finance, Corporate, Health Care, Chinese University Alumni, Women, Club, Community, Youth, and All Cancer Survivor divisions.


Spectators will be able to watch brightly colored, 40 foot, Hong Kong style dragon boats as they race a 500-meter course up the Charles River from the Western Avenue Bridge to the John W. Weeks Footbridge. 

The Dragon Boat Races start in the early morning and the cultural programs and festival will begin at 12PM. All programs are free and family friendly for visitors. Sponsors, founders, dignitaries and community members will dot the eyes of the dragon head on each boat in a traditional Eye-dotting Ceremony. This is an ancient Chinese ceremony that is believed to enable the dragon to soar with the utmost power. The Eye-dotting Ceremony will take place at Noon at the docks with the accompaniment of a traditional Chinese waist drum dance on the stage inside the large performance tent. After the eye-dotting ceremony, VIPs and sponsors will follow Wah Lum Kung Fu’s dragon dance parade into the performance tent for the ribbon cutting and opening ceremony. 


The Eye-dotting Ceremony will be followed by cultural programs, demonstrations and performances in the performance and arts & crafts tents on the Cambridge side grassy areas along the river as well as our major sponsors’ promotional tents. There will be traditional Chinese music, Chinese Yoyo performance, as well as Cambodian dance, Cambodian singing band, Korean dance and Chinese ballet performance, and returning favorites such as Dragon and Lion Dances, Chinese martial arts and traditional Japanese Taiko drumming. Among the performances, one highlight will certainly be “Change Face” by celebrated Sichuan opera change face master Mr. Yang Shuwang and his son Noah Yang. Watch and learn Taichi, dragon dance, and lion dance with demonstrators in our interactive program. Cambridge based artist Elena Li will display her paper cut artwork as a backdrop on the performance stage featuring dragons in honor of the year of the dragon. Visitors young and old will find fun, inspiration and cultural engagement with beautiful hands-on Asian arts and crafts. Come also to sample various Asian foods featuring Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Chinese and more lining the side of Memorial Drive.


Boston Dragon Boat Festival is working with the Mass Water Resource Authority to bring free drinking water to the festival site with a water buggy. People can fill their water bottles in a warm June day. 


Joining the Boston Dragon Boat Festival festivities this year is Roger Jones, philanthropist, businessman, and author of THE FINAL VICTORY, the first and only novel to center on the thrills and challenges of dragon boat paddling and the specific challenges met by a team of twelve men and eight women, all cancer survivors over the age of fifty.  In their quest for qualification in the national championship races, the odds against them were daunting. 

THE FINAL VICTORY is a novel that honors these courageous athletes and celebrates their hope, not only to survive, but to thrive. Roger Jones will be autographing copies of THE FINAL VICTORY in the festival info & T-shirt tent on the festival grounds on Sunday, June 9.


This year, 4 new dragon boats were added to our dragon boat fleet. CVS Health generously donates a new boat to the festival committee to show our joint effort in promoting Asian culture and healthy living!  Hainan Airline and Trapology Boston sponsored a complete makeover for 3 boats updating them to new boat quality. A Buddhist blessing ceremony will take place at 5:00PM on June 7th at MIT Richard J. Resch Boathouse (409 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02139). Three Buddhist monks from Wat Nawamintararachutis Thai Temple in Raynham, MA will conduct the blessing for these new boats. Press/media and the general public are welcome to come observe and celebrate. 


The Boston Dragon Boat Festival is grateful for all our sponsor and partner’s support. Our extended list of sponsors are Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Bain Capital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Brush Magic, CVS Health, Eastern Bank, Foxwoods Resort and Casino, Gentle Giant, Hainan Airlines, New Channel, Salesforce, South Cove Community Health Center, State Street Bank, and Sun Life.   We partner with the Greater Boston Chinese Culture Association, Cambridge Arts Council, Lexington High School as well as the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation and Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.  


Traditionally held on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month (late May to mid June on the solar calendar), the Dragon Boat Festival commemorates the life and death of Qu Yuan (340-278 BCE). A political leader of the State of Chu, Qu Yuan is recognized as China’s first distinguished poet. Qu Yuan lost the king’s favor and was banished from his home state of Chu because of his opposition to the prevalent policy of compromise to the powerful state of Qin. In exile, he wrote the poem, “Encountering Sorrow,” which shows a great loyalty to his state and its people. In 278 BCE, Qu Yuan learned the news that Chu had been conquered by Qin. Heart broken, he drowned himself in the Mi Lo River. The people of Chu rushed to the river to rescue him. Too late to save Qu Yuan, they splashed furiously and threw zong-zi (traditional rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves) into the river as a sacrifice to his spirit and to keep the fish away from his body.


Today, Dragon Boat Festivals and races are popular around the world. The first Dragon Boat Festival in the United States was held in Boston in 1979, the first in North America. It is now the largest Asian cultural festival in New England.  Just 10 years ago Boston had 22 community teams, now we have 54 community teams. Competitive club teams in Boston that race worldwide jumped from 4 to 15. These are some of the examples demonstrating the drastic growth of dragon boat racing as a sport nationwide and worldwide. 


The Boston festival is used as a vehicle to promote Asian cultures and dragon boat racing, as well as to bring diverse communities together in Boston and the surrounding areas. In 2023, over 50,000 people lined the banks of the Charles to enjoy the festivities and performances.​




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For PR, other festival inquiries and media parking, please contact:

Gail Wang




Media/press contact:



壹年壹度的波士頓香港龍舟賽將於六月九日(星期日)舉行, 時間中午十二時至下午五時。2024年 是波士頓龍
舟隊。屆時,龍舟健兒們將在鑼鼓喧天聲中,劃著顏色鮮艷、船身輕盈的香港式龍舟, 在Weeks 步行橋和
Western Ave大橋之間的查爾斯河中激烈角逐。龍舟賽激烈的競爭將在以下十個分組之間展開:集團組、金融
舟賽及節慶由波士頓龍舟節組委會主辦,由以下公司和單位贊助:香港駐紐約經濟貿易辦事處、CVS Health,
海南航空、Trapology Boston、道富銀行、華人醫務中心、神筆、東方銀行, Bain Capital, Blue Cross Blue Shield
of Massachusetts, Foxwoods, Salesforce、Gentle Giants、SunLife等。組委會有以下協辦單位:麻州環保休閑部、麻
的龙舟船队的质量和船赛速度。六月七日五時,泰廟(Wat Nawamintararachutis Thai Temple in Reynham MA)三
位長老將親爲三條新船祈福。地點爲MIT船屋(409 Memorial Dr, Cambridge, MA 02139),歡迎媒體與大衆前往觀
2024年龍舟節文藝演出很豐富, 亞洲各國表演包括柬埔寨、韓國和中國傳統武術,以及傳統中國舞龍舞獅和
舞节目, 更有变脸大师杨书旺为观众带来神奇的中国传统艺术川剧变脸,今年杨先生将携其子同台表演,一定

士頓,迄今四十五周年,2023年前來參加節慶並觀賽的觀眾增加至五萬人。 這個慶祝活動向美國和世界人民
網址 國粵英語電話:(617) 259-0286 電子郵箱;

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