Cornwall Waterfest Dragon Boat races returning to the Canal this August

Provided by Cornwall Waterfest
Cornwall Waterfest Dragon Boat races returning to the Canal this August

Cornwall, ON – The Cornwall Waterfest Dragon Boat races will be returning to the Cornwall Canal this summer for its 11th annual event.

The festival takes place on Saturday, August 13th at the historic Cornwall Canal, located at Power Dam Drive and Second Street West in Cornwall, Ontario. While the dragon boat races are a main attraction, the event also features a unique market of local artisans and vendors, along with a selection of delicious food vendors for festival-goers to grab a bite to eat.

There is still space available, but dragon boat teams are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible. As long as your team has registered and paid the entry fee, teams will have until Race Day (August 13th) to complete their roster. The organizing committee is hopeful to see 21 teams take part in this year’s race with lots of local participation.

A team is made up of 20 paddlers and a drummer who helps keep the team in sync. The festival provides an experienced steers person as part of the $840 registration fee. This works out to $40 per participant for a day of fun and excitement on the waterfront. Employers are often willing to contribute toward the entry fee because they find that the event is a great way for coworkers to enhance teamwork, cohesion, and camaraderie.

The sport is welcoming and approachable to paddlers of all levels, so participants need not worry that there has been no competition for the past two years due to the pandemic.

“The nice thing about our race course is that it is held in a calm, sheltered canal, and is approximately 200 metres in length,” says Cornwall Watefest Committee Chair, Lea Emard. “This makes it very accessible to beginning paddlers, but also offers a challenge for experienced teams that want to put their skills to the test. Teams can choose to enter the recreational, competitive, or ladies division. All local teams will be offered a practice session to help get them in form before race day and are guaranteed three races at the event.”

Lively music and various food and craft vendors will be onsite to keep participants and spectators energized and fueled throughout the day. Again this year, Hospice Cornwall will be the partner charity of the event. Teams are encouraged to raise pledge funds or contributions for this very worthy organization that provides compassionate end-of-life care at a most challenging time. There will also be a 50/50 draw and a silent auction with 100% of the fundraising initiatives going to Hospice Cornwall.

“It takes a lot of work to organize this annual event, and I am so thankful to the hardworking Cornwall Waterfest Committee for their effort and dedication,” adds Emard. “We are in need of some energetic, community-minded volunteers for race day. If you can pitch in for a half or full day, or even a few hours to assist in making the event run smoothly, we would be grateful for the help.”

Spectators are welcome and entry to the site is free.

For more information on the event, including how to register a team, sign up as a vendor, or join as a volunteer, please visit or email

See you on the canal, Dragons!

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