Dragon Boat Races are tomorrow

Published 2:32 pm Friday, May 12, 2017

By Col. Bobby Miller
Special to the Daily News

Venture Scouts of Bogalusa Venture Crew 313 and Bush Venture Crew 213, Boy Scouts of America will be competing in the Greater New Orleans International Boat Festival tomorrow.
The crews will be competing against 30 teams from the United States on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville.
The annual event, which lasts all day, helps raise funds for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at the St. Tammany Hospital.
The family-friendly event is hosted by the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission and the Madisionville Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the Dragon Boat Races, food and refreshments will be available as well as exhibitors, vendor booths and entertainment.
There is also a kids’ area and fun activities for the whole family throughout the day.
Spectators are admitted free, which makes this a super activity for families while supporting the dragon boat racers and raising funds for the Mary Bird Perkins Center.
Races are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. with each team paddling three heats. Competition concludes at approximately 3 p.m. The local scouts have entered two reams, each sponsored by the Bogalusa Lions Club with the Bogalusa Lions Venturer Dragon Chasers team set to begin about 10:16 a.m. and the Bogalusa Lions Venturer Dragons at 10:22 a.m.
All competitors must arrive at 8 a.m.
Dragon boat racing began in ancient China and is now the fastest-growing watersport in the United States.
It is considered a sport where synchronicity and coordination of the team is more important than strength. The local scouts have demonstrated they possess the attributes the successfully compete against their adult competition by their well-known successful competition in canoe and pirogue races both local and national.
The dragon boats are provided by Canada’s Great White North Dragon Boat Association with each boat measuring 40-feet long, 3-feet wide with a dragon head at the bow, dragon tail at the stern and decorated with dragon scales.
A team of 20 paddlers — 10 on each side of the boat — paddle in unison to the beat of the drummer at the head of the boat, steered by an Oarsman.
Crew 313 is sponsored by the Daily News and 213 is sponsored by the Sun United Methodist Church.
After this event, the next event for the area scouts is the Bayou Liberty Canoe and Pirogue Races in Slidell on Sunday, June 4.