Summer Family Fun: Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival 2015

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in NYC

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in NYC. Credit: SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images. Source: nyconthecheap.com

Another beautiful weekend, another awesome multicultural festival in New York City. The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, which takes place on the Flushing Meadows Park lake this weekend, Aug 8-9, brings together 180 dragon-boat teams from all over the world to race for the title of “fiercest dragon.” On shore, there will be traditional food, Chinese arts and crafts demonstrations, performances from the amazing Shaolin monks, and tons of kids’ activities.

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times RACING The Dragonflies were among the 173 teams at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Each boat has a drummer, who doubles as a cheerleader.

Credit: Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times RACING The Dragonflies were among the 173 teams at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Source: nytimes.com

Kids are sure to get a kick out of the fierce hand-crafted boats, complete with drums, which sail from 10AM-4PM on both days (so there’s plenty of time to rally the family to catch the show). Dragon Boat Racing has an equally cool origin story: in 3rd century B.C., the respected poet Qu Yuan drowned himself to protest the emperor’s polices. Locals raced their boats to try to save him, beating drums to keep away the fish, and thus, Dragon Boat Racing began. This is the largest festival of its kind in North America, and is totally free to watch. You can get there by car or the 7 train to Citi Field, where you can walk 15 minutes or take an MTA shuttle to the park.