Nashville Dragon Boat & River Festival

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You’ll love this event and race site. Riverfront Park and Cumberland River located at the foot of Broadway in downtown Nashville is the perfect venue for both paddlers and spectators. 

A large viewing area and “paddlers row” are within walking distance to top restaurants, snack bars, parking, souvenir shops, Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium, and many other Music City attractions. So bring the whole family and plan on spending the day!


• The “dotting the eye” of the dragon ceremony will kick off the races on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.  
• Throughout the day, music and arts will be a part of the festival. Check the program for times and places. 
• The races will run approximately every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Winners will be announced and honored during the closing ceremonies in the Main Festival Tent, starting at 5 p.m.  
•  Food and other vendors will be present at various locations throughout the day

Racing Team Preparation

  • The dragon boat race course is a 250-meter run roughly between the Shelby Street walking bridge and the Woodland Street bridge. Your team will be outfitted with paddles, personal flotation devices, and a Dragon Boat.
  • You’ll be racing in a four-boat heat in river water with the current.
  • Start and finish lines are marked with buoys. The lanes are not marked but the course is straight.
  • Each team will have a designated area near the promenade.  Water will be provided and teams may purchase snacks, food and drinks from festival vendors. 
  • No alcohol is permitted in the team staging area.
  • As a safety precaution, paddlers are not allowed to drink beer or consume other alcoholic beverages until their participation in the races is completed. 
  • There are plenty of portable toilet facilities. We plan on providing enough TP to last through the event, but experienced paddlers know to BYOTP!
  • Don’t forget to bring waterproof sunscreen and reapply it every two hours, hats, sunglasses, and protective clothing such as a long sleeve shirt.
  • The public will have access to your personal belongings, so please don’t leave valuables unprotected. You are responsible for your team’s belongings so please plan accordingly.

Official Race Rules 

Our officials follow US Dragon Boat Federation (USDBF) race rules. Please refer to the USDBF website for a copy of the rules if you are not familiar with them. 

The bottom line is good sportsmanship and safety. Penalties will be given for wake riding, crossing lanes if it impedes or endangers others, and for general misconduct on land or in the water. 

Please wait to enjoy the beer tent until after all of your races. The dock master can disqualify your entire crew based on the smell of alcohol on one person’s breath. 

You can race with a minimum of 16 paddlers. 

Please make arrangement with guest paddlers before you arrive. Their names and signatures must be on your waiver/team roster before the first race of the day. 

Costumes are great as long as they do not compromise your personal safety, the safety of the crew, or others. FYI, this is a family event. 

Lifejackets will be provided for each team member but you are welcome to bring your own regulation vests, if you prefer. 

Team Registration Process 

Complete the waiver roster, which also serves as a team roster, and the team information form. Please ensure all forms are complete. Last minute changes to your roster are allowed prior to the first race on August 23. NOTE: your registration is not complete until we have received your registration fee and team roster.  

1.The registration fee of $1,250 per 22-person* team. 

*Please note: For safety reasons, all teams will be assigned a professional steersperson at no charge. Steering the dragon boat requires more skill than any other position. He or she will make sure your boat is on point at the starting line, that the boat is properly balanced, and knows how to maintain a safe distance from other boats and obstructions on the water during the race.  

2. Team Requirements 

Each person that you designate as a team member in your boat must sign the waiver/team roster.  

Minimum age for paddlers is 18 years old as of August 23, 2008. 

Each team must have at least 8 female paddlers.  

3. Payment/Registration Information 

Each team must register with the Compact or online at prior to August 1, 2008.  Any team wishing to register after August 1 must contact the festival organizers for approval. 

50% of payment is due during time of registration.  Remaining balance is due on or before August 1, 2018.  Cancellation within 60 days of event date will be refunded 75% of registration fee.  

Teams & Captains

  1. Team Name – Teams Captains
  2. A Motley Crew – Kathy Plourde
  3. Amec Blazing Paddles – April Barker
  4. Brown and Caldwell – Beth Schrayshuen
  5. Cumberland Crayfish – Margo Farnsworth
  6. Dragon Ass (Nashville Scene) – Alyson Hayland
  7. GirlForce – Susan McDonald
  8. Harpeth Valley Utilities District – Jack Lyle
  9. Hawkins Partners – Kelly Copeland
  10. Honah Lee Heat (Red River Watershed Assoc.) – Jane Kleiman
  11. Huffin’ and Puffin’ – Brandon Hammer
  12. Insbank DragIns – Blake Adams
  13. Julia’s Body Shop “Boot Camp” – Julia Ledbetter
  14. Krolling Down the River (Kroll, Inc.) – Morgan Garifo
  15. Lightning 100/Team Green – Kurt Andress
  16. Lithographics, Inc. – Daniel BooneMarine Titans (Ingram Barge) – Lysa Rigo
  17. 17.
  18. Los Torros (Merrill Lynch) – Christina Smith
  19. Metro Parks – Traci Bennett
  20. Pollution Prevention Pirates (Metro Water) – Rebecca Dohn
  21. Nashville Ultimate Machine – Molly Sehring
  22. Nerd Herd (American Society of Civil Engineers – Corey Knight
  23. – Trent Gastine
  24. Seigenthaler Public Relations – Beth Seigenthaler
  25. Team Aladdin TemRite – Jim Clapper
  26. Team Bridgestone – Linda Lance
  27. Team Dragon Bottom (TN Oncology) – Charles PenleyDraggin’ Video Dogs
  28. Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association – Bill Kelsey
  29. Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association 2 – Craig Burr
  30. Three Shih Tzus to the Wind – Chris Thompson
  31. USN Teachers “Row” Best – Babs Freeman-Loftis
  32. Vanderbilt University Medical Center – Joel Lee
  33. WalMart 710 PSP Pirates – Joan Schuller
  34. Waves, Inc. – Jennifer Krahenbill
  35. Team Lederhosen – Ben Mosley

Thanks to All Who Volunteered!

Volunteering to help with the Nashville Dragon Boat Festival is fun! We need help with parking, hospitality, clean up and lots more. You get to spend a great day outdoors doing something very worthwhile with other cool people.

And that’s not all!  You will receive our enduring gratitude and kind thoughts, a cool T-shirt and an invitation to the post event Volunteer Thank You Party. How could you not?

Got a group or organization that wants to help? We’d love to have you. Please complete the volunteer form and type your comments or questions in the box at the end of the form.

The Nashville Dragon Boat Volunteer Coordinators will be in touch right away.

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