Frist Center for the Visual Arts attends 6th Annual Nashville Dragon Boat and River Festival

Frist Center outreach educators attend 6th Annual Nashville Dragon Boat and River Festival at Riverfront Park on September 29, 2012 – 8:00 am.

The festival combines the excitement of racing with the beauty and spectacle of Nashville’s diverse cultures. In traditional Chinese culture, the dragon is a symbol of health and prosperity, and dragon boat racing inspires health and fitness among participants as well as spectators. The Frist Center educators will offer a hands-on Chinese dragon puppet activity for participants to nurture their creativity.

Hong Kong style dragon boats are 46-feet long. A drum seat arranged above the first two paddlers (seated beside each other) holds a drummer – you want the smallest, loudest, most rhythmic person you can find. A provided steerer guides the boat with the steering oar in back and the 20 paddlers, seated in 10 rows of two, dig in. These 22 people make up a dragon boat team. The stroke is unlike any other (the most similar is outrigger canoe or a stand-up paddleboard) and taught in practice.

With origins dating back more than 2,300 years, dragon boat racing is the most fun, unique cultural event featuring adrenaline-pumping action. Teams race in authentic 46-foot long Hong Kong style dragon boats. They rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. All ages, skill levels and physiques perfect their stroke and timing for the ultimate teamwork experience! –

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