Everyone in Acadia is gearing up for the annual Upstate Dragon Boat Festival at Portman Marina on May 6. For the past ten years, the festival has raised over $2.5 million for cancer research at the Greenville Hospital System, and the 11th year is shaping up to be the best yet. Forty teams, each with twenty paddlers and one drummer, will arm themselves with paddles and vests to race for the best time on a 220 meter course on Lake Hartwell. The best three teams will then have a final, winner-take-all battle for the gold medal, glory, and- most importantly- fun. Between races, there is even more for racers and spectators alike to enjoy. Each team creatively decorates their own tent and brings plenty of good food to fuel their engines. It is always a great day, made even more special by the impact it makes on the fight against cancer.
The festival holds a special place in the heart of the Acadia Community.In fact, it was founded by Acadia’s own Caleb and Mary Freeman in 2006. Caleb’s brother, David Freeman, runs Portman Marina and has graciously hosted the event since its inception. Acadia’s neighborhood team, the Ragin’ Cajuns, has competed in the festival every year, bringing in several gold, silver, and a few bronze medals. While we were happy to bring home silver last year, we are hungry for another gold, so be ready for our team to live up to our name.
To learn more about The Upstate Dragon Boat Festival, visit their website here, and for more exciting posts, be sure to check out the Acadia Community Blog regularly!