Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2023: The COMPLETE Guide

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The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York is an annual multicultural and sporting event. It is celebrated on Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, during August, which corresponds with the fifth moon of the lunar calendar. The festival combines sports, cultural performances, and traditional Chinese food, creating a unique experience for all attendees.

Who Participates in the Dragon Boat Races?

The festival sees the participation of over 120 dragon boat teams from across North America. This wide participation makes it one of the largest dragon boat festivals in the United States. Teams compete across various divisions for a range of prizes, which include cash, trophies, and other awards.

What is the History of the Festival?

The festival was first organized in 1990 by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York City, with the initial location being the Hudson River in Battery Park City. Although the festival started as a promotional event, it has evolved into an independent non-profit organization governed under the laws of the State of New York. Despite this transition, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office remains a significant supporter.

What is the Cost of Admission?

One of the best parts of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York is that it is free to attend. The festival goes on, rain or shine, ensuring that everyone can enjoy this celebration of culture, sports, and community.

When Does the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York Take Place?

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York traditionally takes place annually in August. The timing aligns with the fifth moon (or fifth month) of the lunar calendar, a significant period in Chinese culture. The event happens regardless of the weather, ensuring a vibrant and energetic celebration, come rain or shine.

This year, the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Race will be held on August 12 and 13, 2023.

What Kind of Boats are used in the Festival?

The festival’s boat fleet has grown from the original four teak wood dragon boats to over 30 boats, many of which are made of fiberglass. All boats meet the standards set by the International Dragon Boat Federation for international dragon boat racing.

What Other Activities Does the Festival Offer?

Besides the main races, the festival features various activities and events suitable for the entire family. There are numerous specific races like the NY Championship Race, the US Dragon Boat Open Championship Race, and races for youth, women, sponsors, media, and charities. The festival also includes an opening parade.

What Cultural Performances are Presented?

An impressive arts and entertainment program is a vital part of the festival. Multicultural artists from New York showcase their talents in performances that include Kung Fu demonstrations by the Shaolin Temple Warrior Monks, the Drum Spirit of China, and traditional music and dance from China, Mexico, and Peru.

What Can You Find at the Booths?

The festival features several booths around the main stage area where attendees can observe folk art and craft demonstrations. These offer further insight into the rich cultural traditions presented at the festival.

What Food Options are Available?

Food is an essential part of any festival, and this event does not disappoint. A food court presents a culturally diverse menu, with traditional Chinese dishes as a highlight.

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