ST. PAUL – The 2013 Dragon Festival will be held on the weekend of July 13-14, at Phalen Lake Park, 1530 Phalen Drive, St. Paul, MN 55106 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year marks the 10th Anniversary Dragon Boat Race on Lake Phalen.
“We can not be happier to once again put on a quality event to showcase and highlight the cultural treasures and talent of the Asian Pacific Minnesotan community,” stated Ilean Her, Chairperson for the Dragon Festival. “Over the years, as the economy faced challenges, we are proud that the community and our corporate sponsors have come together to provide the needed resources to ensure the continued success of the Dragon Festival. So to them we offer our sincere gratitude, but we would not be able to mark this milestone without the help of our faithful attendees. They have followed, raced, ate, and shared many great moments with us these many years; and it has been our pleasure to serve them, their families, and friends.”
The Dragon Festival is a two-day free & family friendly event that showcases cultural heritage, entertainment, cuisine and all types of ethnic Asian Pacific Islander community activities. This largest pan-Asian Pacific Islander community event is an effort to increase cross-cultural understanding among the several ethnic groups and with the greater mainstream community. “The Dragon Festival Planning Committee is once again thrilled to bring this much beloved and anticipated event back to the community,“ stated Ilean Her, the chair of the committee. “We enjoy so much support from businesses and the communities across the board so we know we are doing the right thing for the people and families of Minnesota,” she added.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is sponsoring the do.® walk/run 5K Lake Phalen on Saturday, July 13, starting at 9:00 a.m. Blue Cross is proud to sponsor the 4th annual 5K walk and the inaugural 5K run around Lake Phalen. Participating in the walk or run is a great way to get started on grooving your body every day to improve your overall health. Proceeds will benefit the JDRF, previously known as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the world’s largest non-governmental funder of diabetes research and the Dragon Festival.
Walk Day Registration Fee: $15 per adult and $10 per child under the age of 12. Run Day Registration Fee: $30 per adult and $20 per child under the age of 12. Race day registration open from 8:00 – 8:45 a.m.
The Opening Ceremonies begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday with a dragon dance and the blessings to officially start the annual event in the spirit of its 2,400-year tradition of dragon boat racing and festivities. Visiting artists from the Korean Traditional Music Association along with local musicians, dancers, and drummers will feature in this year’s opening ceremony.
There will be 25 boat racing teams, sponsored by local companies and nonprofit organizations, with teams competing for best time, best overall times and best team spirit awards. In a move popular with the festival attendees, pre-trial and official races will run the length of both days. Practices and or pre-trials will take place from 9 – Noon. Races will commence at Noon. Awards and a Closing Ceremony will be at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.
A cultural performance tent will feature modern and traditional renderings of music, dance, and song from various Asian and Pacific Islander ethnic groups. In the Martial Arts Demonstration Area, more than a dozen differing schools along with their masters and students will demonstrate the many forms and styles of martial arts among them are karate, judo, tai chi, kung-fu.
Once again there will many activities for families and children. Target is sponsoring the Children’s Activities Tent. Wilderness Inquiry will offer canoe rides. And the Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans will offer a “Reading Together Tent” full of activities and ideas to engage family in reading and literacy.
Shop from the dozens of arts and crafts venders and food from area restaurants. There will also be organizations with booths to provide information, outreach, and resources to the community.
The Dragon Festival and boat races are based on the legend of Qu Yuan, and the community was inspired to create a local event after watching so many other successful events around the country.
FREE shuttle buses at 4 locations: Johnson High School, Criminal Apprehension Bureau Bldg, Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, and Metro Transit Park & Ride at County Rd C and Hwy 61. Look for signs. Disability Lot and Shuttle services priority at Johnson High School located at the intersection of Arcade Ave. and Ivy St. To find out more about how to be part of this annual celebration visit online at www.dragonfestival.org. Contact Souvan Lee at 651-757-1742, email [email protected] or Sandy Kwan at 651-757-1743.