Wednesday, August 20, 2014 · 10:22 p.m.

Sixth annual Dragon Boat Festival approaches

Proceeds will benefit Children's Hospital at Erlanger

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The sixth annual Dragon Boat Festival will be held May 19. (Photo: MGNOnline)

The sixth annual Dragon Boat Festival will be held May 19 at TVA Park on the Chickamauga Dam.

All proceeds will benefit the Children's Hospital at Erlanger.

Dating back more than 2,300 years, dragon boat racing features teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer in an authentic 41-foot long Chinese dragon boat racing to the finish line on a body of water.  Paddlers of all ages, skill and fitness levels can participate, making it the ultimate team-building sport.

Participants are encouraged to raise $3,600 per team or $172 per person in pledges, which is approximately 10 cents for every child who is treated annually at Children’s Hospital.  Teams can also decorate their tents, wear their dragon apparel and cheer throughout the races.

Each team will have one on-water practice prior to the event and compete in at least two heats on race day. Teams will then race in qualifying heats for the title of grand champion.

Top prizes will be awarded to the fastest teams and the teams who raise the most money.

Last year, paddlers from 46 teams raised more than $107,000 in pledges for Children’s Hospital.

Teams who register by Monday, April 2 will receive $100 off registration.  Final registration will be Monday, May 7.  Corporate and community teams can register online by going to www.chattanooga.racedragonboats.com.  To register a team fundraising page and allow others to donate and see the progress, visit www.paddleforchildrenshospital.org.

For more information on how to participate as a team or volunteer, please call Children’s Hospital Foundation office at 423-778-8057 or email Ali.Dunn@erlanger.org.

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