Dragon Boat Festival full of family-friendly activities


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The 2012 Mountain States Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Winged Deer Park. The festival includes the Dragon Boat Race, multiple vendors and a full day of family-friendly activities, including Art in the Park and a health fair.

The health fair will feature the Mountain States Health Alliance HeartCoach, the MegaHeart (an oversized model of the human heart); the Cooperative Appalachian Bone Marrow Program; RN Cardiac Rehabilitation; Wings Air Rescue/Niswonger Baby Ambulance; the Breast Feeding Coalition of East Tennessee; Tennessee Donor Services; and Dixie Home Crafters, offering child protection packets. A farmer’s market will also be a part of the festivities.

Art in the Park features regional artists chosen by the Dragon Boat Committee who will showcase their work and offer it for sale. “These artists are providing a great opportunity for the purchase of special, one-of-a-kind gifts for yourself, birthdays or even a head start on Christmas shopping,” said Patty Bolton, corporate director of events and annual giving for the Mountain States Foundation. “These same artists are each donating a piece of their work that will become part of our silent auction for our 2013 Spirit Gala, ‘Fire and Ice,’ which will be held in January.”

The Mountain States Dragon Boat Festival will host up to 50 teams. This year’s festival benefits Mountain States Health Alliance oncology services. Directed and coached by a steersman standing in the rear of the boat, each team races a distance of 200 meters in an attempt to earn the fastest time. Every team will compete in two heats, with the fastest teams competing a third time in the championship round.

“The Dragon Boat festival is such a great opportunity to reach out and make a difference for someone who is battling cancer,” Bolton said. “We urge people to come and support the paddlers, the health fair and the artists who are all giving their time to help make a difference.”

For more information, visit www.mshafoundation.org/events.

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