Dragonboats on the left, Buddhist monks on the right.

Buddhist monks from north Georgia bless the fleet to ensure the safety of paddlers during competition

The waning dog days of summer brought the 26th annual Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival once again to Lake Lanier’s Olympic Park. The event continues to unite people from many cultures and backgrounds through team building, sportsmanship, and competition. Held on September 6, there were 64 registered teams that competed in 11 divisions. Proceeds from the event benefit Lake Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club and Dragon Boat Atlanta, a Breast Cancer Awareness dragon boat team.

According to Tracy Barth, director of the festival, “This year showed us that teams are ready to return to the water and in a big way! With a crowd estimate of just over 8,000, we are already planning how to better accommodate this growing event.”

As exciting improvements like the new boathouse and additions to the tower side of the venue are completed, Lake Lanier Olympic Park will continue to honor its Olympic legacy in style with events like the Dragon Boat Festival where spectators and attendees can witness the blessing of the boats by Laotian Buddhist monks, enjoy the cultural displays and dances, sample food, and enjoy Lake Lanier. To get race results or learn more about past and future Dragon Boat Festivals, visit: DragonBoatAtlanta.com.

Closeup of a Chinese dragon as they perform during the 2023 Dragonboat Festival.

Elaborate costumes were part of the opening ceremony.

One Dragonboat full of rowers with paddles deep into the water.

Paddlers reach deep to move their dragon boat during a race.

4 umbrellas, purple, pink, green and light blue are open during an opening ceremony performance.

Members of the Laotian American Society sported colorful umbrellas during their opening ceremony performance.

Team drummer, shown on left is at head of Dragonboat to help rowers keep rhythm.

The banging of drums keeps paddlers in rhythm.














Photos: courtesy Kim Martin (kimmersphotography.com)