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Asian Culture, River Races Return at Dragon Boat Festival Saturday, October 2

Springfield— The eighth annual Dragon Boat Festival, featuring Dragon Boat races, food trucks, and Asian-themed entertainment, will return to Springfield this Saturday, October 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at North Riverfront Park, 121 West Street, Springfield. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic.


A special Flower Ceremony for breast cancer survivors and their loved ones, a dragon boat tradition, will be held around 12 p.m. Entertainment by Lion Dancers and Taiko Drummers will also be part of this year’s Festival. 


Photos from past Springfield Dragon Boat Festivals can be found here:


Thirteen teams from throughout New England are registered to participate in this year’s Dragon Boat races, including the Springfield First Responders team, which will be defending its title from the 2019 Dragon Boat Festival.


The Springfield Dragon Boat Festival, which has been hosted by the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club since 2013, attracts hundreds of participants and spectators to the banks of the Connecticut River for a day of competition, festivity, and community support. The Festival is an important fundraiser in support of Breast Cancer survivors and Community Programming at the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club.


Hundreds of  paddlers from New England participate in the festival races. A dragon boat festival team is comprised of up to 24 paddlers who race against other teams in 200-meter races on the Connecticut River. Each race lasts about one minute, and each team races at least three times on the day of the festival. Dragon Boating originated in China 2,000 years ago and today is one of the world’s fastest growing team water sports. The festival makes it easy for anyone to participate and spectate.


Admission to the Festival is free for spectators, and there is free parking available nearby at 77 West Street or along Avocado Street. The festival can also be reached by the Connecticut Riverwalk Bikeway. More information can be found at or by calling (413) 736-1322.


The Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club has both adult and youth programming throughout the fall and winter months. For more information, visit