If you like boat races and dragons, the two will come together in Grand Rapids on the Grand River this summer.

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What is a Dragon Boat?

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If you are unfamiliar with what a dragon boat is, they are a human-powered watercraft that was originally made in China. They look like the longboats you would see in competition in the Olympics except with a dragon head on the end of the boat.

Dragon Boat
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The Chinese have been racing dragon boats for over 2000 years. For a large boat, there are 18 to 20 people paddling and in a smaller version, there are 8 to 10. Now, these boats are catching on all around the world.

What is Dragon Boat Racing?

In the video above you can get a lesson on dragon boat racing. This was the race that happened last year in Grand Rapids.

The crew typically consists of 22 team members 20 of which paddle the boat.

Rowing crew on dragon boat race
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There is 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers.

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There is one person called a steerer that stands at the rear of the boat.

Dragon boat racers paddling
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Global Water Fest GR

The video above shows a recap of the 2021 Global Water Fest GR and as you can see it is a very unique and interesting event.

If you really want to get a look at what its like to actually be racing on a dragon boat, check out this video below it is pretty intense.

The Global Water Fest GR brings lots of different cultures together at Canal Park. The event is free to attend.

According to WOOD, this year's Global Water Fest GR will happen on July 30. There will be food from around the world, local artisans, and live entertainment.

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