May 12, 2009
Charlotte, NC – Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation and the Carolinas Asian American Chamber of Commerce hold the 10th annual Asian Festival and 4th annual Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, May 16, 2009, 11am-4pm, at Ramsey Creek Park, 18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius. Admission is FREE. Last year’s festivals attracted more than 6,000 people.
These exciting festivals include competitive dragon boat races with 22 person rowing crews in boats, 43-55 ft long, with dragon mastheads and tails. Teams represent many organizations and groups. The dragon boats race over course on Lake Norman. The ceremonial “dotting of the eyes” brings the dragon mastheads alive! The dragon dance features a giant, richly colored dragon’s head with long trailers carried by many marchers.
Other events include the Miss Asian Festival pageant, Asian cultural performances with music and dance, traditional crafts, family fun and Asian food available from concession stands.
FREE parking for the public will be at Kenton Place (site of the old Palace Cinema), 17220 West Catawba Ave. with a free shuttle to and from the park, 7am–5pm.
These festivals represent 16 countries and cultures: China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka, Laos, Hmong, US and Turkey. The schedule of events this year includes:
9am-4pm: Dragon boat races
11am: Opening ceremony, International Kids Parade, Dragon Dance and dotting the eyes
11:45am: Stage performances begin and continue all day
1pm: Miss Asian Festival Pageant
4pm: Awards Ceremony following the last Dragon Boat Race
For more information contact Recreation Program Manager Stephanie Frisbee: 704-432-1157 or visit the Dragon Boat Festival website at www.charlottedragonboat.com.