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Dragon Boats set to race across Veterans Park lagoon

Milwaukee Chinese Community Center will present the fifth Milwaukee Dragon Boat Festival at Milwaukee County’s Veterans Park on August 12.

The event showcases Chinese culture and tradition with dragon boat racing as the main attraction. Other highlights include the Lion Dance, cultural exhibits, and performances of traditional dance, Chinese folk music, and martial arts. Authentic Chinese food will be available for purchase.

Dragon boat racing will begin at 8:00 a.m. With vibrantly colored dragon heads and tails, the 43-foot-long boats are sometimes referred to as “canoes on steroids.” Teams of up to 21 men and women will row their boat in unison to the beat of their drummer. The event organizer provides each team with a steersman to direct the boat using a 10-foot oar from the stern. Proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House.

“We are thrilled the event keeps growing. This year we’ll have over 50 teams racing!” said Zhaohui Wang, executive director of the planning committee.

Following the first round of dragon boat racing will be the opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. featuring the Lion Dance.

In addition to cultural exhibits and performances, the young and young at heart will have the opportunity to make opera masks and lanterns, play traditional games, participate in a dragon parade, and learn to write and speak Chinese.

Co-sponsors of the Entertainment Stage are Millercoors LLC and Nothwestern Mutual Foundation. Veterans Park is located on Milwaukee’s Lakefront at 1010 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive.

Milwaukee Chinese Community Center is a community-based nonprofit organization founded in 2006. MCCC strives to offer the best learning experience in Chinese language and cultural programs through the Milwaukee Modern Chinese School and Youth Leader Academy. The mission of MCCC is serving members and community through Chinese language education, culture outreach, and social engagement.

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Lee Matz

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