Riverfest 2022 will feature dragon boat races – Clarksville Online

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Clarksville, TN – Up to 35 teams of 22 paddlers will compete in dragon boat races on the Cumberland River at this year’s Riverfest, which takes place Sept. 9-10 at McGregor Park. The races will be a focal point on the river throughout the day on Saturday September 10 as teams paddle through several legs for the ‘Cumberland Cup’.

Cumberland River Compact, a local nonprofit, is responsible for the new addition to the event and has held an annual festival in Nashville dedicated to racing for 14 years.




The group works to address the root causes of water pollution in the Cumberland River and its tributaries and hopes the races will help connect the Clarksville community to the precious water resource and encourage support for stewardship. environment of local waterways. The group plans to undertake an extensive Red River restoration project beginning in the fall of 2022.

“The river is a defining feature of cities like Clarksville and Nashville, and dragon boat races offer people the opportunity to get in the water and experience the river in a whole different way,” said Nicholle Gerde, director of development and communications of Cumberland River Compact. “Our work at the Cumberland River Compact helps educate people about the causes of water pollution and addresses the impacts of pollution through restoration projects and green infrastructure, but it all starts with the fact that people feel an affinity for the river and its importance to our environment, economy, and personal health.

The traditional Hong Kong-style dragon boats are 46 feet long, with 10 seats and 20 people. A drum seat in front of the first two paddlers holds a drummer. A helmsman guides the boat with the steering oar aft. These 22 people form a Dragon Boat team. The shot used is unique to this event and is taught in team practice.

With origins dating back 2,300 years, dragon boat races are a fun and unique cultural event that gets your adrenaline pumping. Teams are thrilled with the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport.

Dragon boat races are popular among companies and businesses looking to strengthen relationships between staff and employees, and even customers. The event also attracts teams from community groups, schools, churches, clubs, and more.

To kick off the first year of the races, the town of Clarksville will have a boat in the races for town employees in addition to a team from Fort Campbell. Teams are encouraged to register through the Cumberland River Compact by August 1 to reserve a boat in the races.

Dragon boat races are open to all ages, skill levels, and builds.


Event registration fee to register a team and support Cumberland River Compact:

  • $1,000 for a community or non-profit team (approximately $50.00 per paddler)
  • $1,500 for a corporate team (approximately $70.00 per paddler)

To find out more about the event and to enter a boat in the races, visit: www.cumberlandrivercompact.org/event/dragon-boat-races-at-riverfest/

About the Clarksville Parks and Recreation Department

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