Marina del Rey will host its first Dragon Boat Festival featuring a series of dragon boat races, live music entertainment, food truck fare and awards ceremony at Burton Chace Park on Saturday, March 5. The all-day festival will be fun for anyone paddling or cheering on the teams. Admission is free for viewers. 

Dragon boat racing originated from China more than 2,000 years ago. The sport takes up to 20 paddlers seated in pairs along with a drummer sitting in the front keeping the paddlers’ stroke pace. The 40-foot boats are decorated with a dragon head at the bow, scales on the canoe, and a tail at the back. 

The Marina del Rey Dragon Boat Festival is sponsored by Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marina del Rey Lessees Association, Caruso, ProSUP Shop, Wahoo’s, and Team DPW. 

Nathan Salazar, Head Coach of the Los Angeles County Dragon Boat Club and Dragon Boat Festival organizer says: “The fast-growing sport of dragon boat racing is one that promotes cultural diversity and wellness, especially as this sport does not have any limitations in terms of age, ethnicity, sex, or religion. Dragon boat races bring people together in a fun and exciting atmosphere. We’re thrilled Marina del Rey is welcoming the first Dragon Boat Festival to their beautiful harbor setting.” 

Nearly 40 teams will compete with team participants varying in age from 10- to 70-year-olds. Many participants are multi-generational families paddling together. Some noteworthy teams in the festival include: 

Los Angeles County Dragon Boat Club, whose youth paddlers will compete in the Club Crew World Championships in Florida this July; Adaptive Fusion, a group of blind and deaf paddlers, also competing in the above Club Crew World Championships in the Para Dragon Division; and Los Angeles Pink Dragons, the first breast cancer survivor dragon boat team in Los Angeles. 

Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

Saturday, March 5 

Races: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Opening Ceremony: 10:30 a.m.

Awards Ceremony: 3:30 p.m. 

Submitted by: Kat Jacob, Communications Manager