NEW GLASGOW – More than 40 teams will be racing on July 27 for the Race on the River Dragon Boat Festival.
This year marks the 18th anniversary of the race with more than $2 million dollars raised in support of the three beneficiaries – Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivor's Society, Special Olympics Northern Region and Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association.
Opening ceremonies begin Friday, July 26 at 6:45 p.m. with one of the founders and long-term supporter of Race on the River, and 2019 honorary chair, Joanne Cumminger.
“I am humbled to serve as the honorary chair of the Pictou County 18th Annual Race on the River,” Cumminger said. “ This event is very dear to my heart as I was instrumental in starting the dragon boating program with the Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors 20 years ago, never dreaming it would grow to this extent.”
The teams will be introduced and marched in following an interpretive dragon dance, and the ringing of the gong to commence the beginning of another festival. Entertainment will follow, featuring The Unknownz and fireworks at dusk will be provided by the Town of New Glasgow.
Races begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning with 45 races scheduled for the day.
Aside from watching the races, the family friendly festival offers children’s activities by presenting sponsor Sobeys, Zumba and musical entertainment, as well as great food being offered by food trucks and vendors. The AbreastARiver Dragon Boat Team is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and organizers will welcome nine breast cancer teams in this division from all over, including Ontario, Newfoundland and New Jersey. The Pink Carnation ceremony is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. and everyone is encouraged to stay and enjoy this heartwarming conclusion to the day.
“We encourage everyone to come down to the river and watch the races, we have five different divisions of races with over 40 teams of 17 participants taking part; the energy and community spirit is evident all day long,” says marketing director Meghan Brophy.