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Dragon Boat Racers Speeding Toward a Cure

Racing down the river to the finish line may sound more like a fun, competitive activity than an opportunity to give back to the community, but the Greater New Orleans Dragon Boat festival brings together the best of both worlds in support of Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Covington.

Every year, hundreds of people descend upon Madisonville as the dragon boats hit the water. The festival offers action packed 500-meter dragon boat races, but between heats racers and spectators alike lounge along the oak-lined banks of the Tchefuncte River to take in local food vendors, live entertainment and a breast cancer survivor ceremony.

Dragon Boat

Dylan Bernard, a Northshore native and a participant in last year’s races, said, “It was amazing to simultaneously have these two great experiences. I was able to support the Cancer Center in my community and race a dragon boat down the Tchefuncte. That’s not something anyone thinks they’re going to experience. It was great.”

The Cancer Center has been a beneficiary of the Dragon Boat Festival since 2014 and nearly $50,000 has been raised in the fight against cancer. This year’s festival will take place on May 13. For more information on how to participate, visit the New Orleans Dragon Boat webpage or click here to volunteer.