Dragon Festival – Lake Phalen

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Image by mwklein via Flickr

The 2014 Dragon Festival is scheduled for Saturday July 12 and Sunday July 13 at Lake Phalen in Minneapolis. This festival brings the people of the twin cities together with representatives from the many Asian cultures that have made a home in the Twin Cities. The many activities, races, and entertainments provided help honor the traditions of these various cultures. For a complete listing check out the Dragon Festival Website.

The festival includes martial arts demonstrations, musical performances, arts, crafts and of course the dragon boat races. Both days are free to the public for all performances with free parking available at nearby lots. Shuttle service runs every 15 minutes from 4 local lots – the Metro Transit Park & Ride, Gastavus Adolphus Church, Johnson High School and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Building. There is no on-site parking available.

The festival begins each day at 10:00 and runs until 5:00. There will be vendors with food, drink and of course crafts available both days. There will also be canoe rides on Lake Phalen for a small fee. Come early to explore the many vendors who will be on site with crafts and food.

Martial arts performances will begin at noon on Saturday and Sunday. These performances will each be ½ hour long and continue until 4:30. A variety of martial arts will be displayed. Akida, TaeKwonDo, Judo and Kung Fu are among the arts that will be presented. Music and dance performances will also run both Saturday and Sunday throughout the day. A complete list of performers is available at http://www.dragonfestival.org/.

The main attraction of this festival is the Dragon Boat Races. There will be 10 teams competing on Saturday and 12 teams on Sunday. Many local businesses sponsor these 20 person teams as a team building activity. The boats are 40 feet long and 4 feet wide and each boat has its’ own character and individualized painting. Winners of each division receive a trophy for their team. Dragon boat racing is an extremely popular sport in Asia and is growing in the United States as an excellent team building activity for corporate and charity events.

Stop by Lake Phalen this weekend and experience some of the culture of Asia.

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