Everything you need to know about the Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday

Annual breast cancer fundraiser returns to Del Crary Park on June 11 for the first time since the pandemic began

Paddlers at the 2015 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival, which returns to Del Crary Park in Peterborough on June 11, 2022 after a two-year absence because of the pandemic, raising funds for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. (Photo: Linda McIlwain / kawarthaNOW)
Paddlers at the 2015 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival, which returns to Del Crary Park in Peterborough on June 11, 2022 after a two-year absence because of the pandemic, raising funds for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment at Peterborough Regional Health Centre. (Photo: Linda McIlwain / kawarthaNOW)

Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival is returning to Del Crary Park on Saturday (June 11) for the first time since the pandemic began.

Two days before the festival, participating individuals and teams have raised over $121,000 of the festival’s $180,000 goal, with 100 per cent of all pledges going to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast and other cancers at the regional hospital.

Everyone is welcome to attend the festival, cheer on the racers, and take part in the day’s activities.

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Here’s a schedule of events (times are subject to change):

  • 7:30 a.m. – First shuttle bus leaves Healthy Planet Arena
  • 8 a.m. – Awakening the Dragon/Opening ceremonies
  • 9 a.m. – First race heats begin
  • 9 a.m. – Vendor Village Market opens
  • 9:30 a.m. – Family Fun Zone opens
  • 10:40 a.m. – Mackenzie Cup Race (followed by the Flower Ceremony)
  • 11 a.m. – The Thirsty Dragon Beer Garden opens
  • 12:10 p.m. – Second race heats begin
  • 2 p.m. – Divisional finals begin
  • 3:15 p.m. – Awards ceremony at the bleachers (race trophies and top individual fundraisers)
  • 4 p.m. – Raffle draw at the tent near the bleachers
  • 5:45 p.m. – Last shuttle bus leaves Del Crary Park

Here’s a festival site map:

2022 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival site map

Modern Makers Market is partnering with the festival to offer the Vendor Village Market, a unique shopping and food experience with more than 40 vendors.

The Thirsty Dragon Beer Garden, hosted by Cameron’s Brewing and Rice Lake Hard Cider, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Family Fun Zone will offer activities and crafts to keep the whole family entertained. Businesses and organizations at the Family Fun Zone include the Peterborough Axe Club, the Art Gallery of Peterborough, Kawartha Gymnastics Club, Lavender and Play, Orangetheory Peterborough, Fancy Faces – Face Painting by Gab, B!ke – the Peterborough Community Bike Shop, Selfie Photo Booth, White Tiger Taekwondo, and the Peterborough Canoe and Kayak Club.

You can also visit the Dragon Shop (just past the bleachers) to purchase festival-branded team shirts, ball caps, water bottles, pullover hoodies, mystery bags, and more.

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Of course, the highlight of the day are the dragon boat races, which begin with the randomly seeded morning challenge from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

At 10:40 a.m., four teams of breast cancer survivors will compete for the McKenzie Cup.

This race will be followed at 10:50 a.m. by the Flower Ceremony, an annual tradition to both remember and honour those who have lost their battle with breast cancer.

Paddlers at the 2015 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival toss flowers into Little Lake, an annual tradition to both remember and honour those who have lost their battle with breast cancer. (Photo: Linda McIlwain / kawarthaNOW)
Paddlers at the 2015 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival toss flowers into Little Lake, an annual tradition to both remember and honour those who have lost their battle with breast cancer. (Photo: Linda McIlwain / kawarthaNOW)

The afternoon challenge, seeded by morning race times, will run from 12:10 to 1:40 p.m., followed by the open women finals from 2 to 2:20 p.m., the community women and junior finals at 2:30 p.m., and the community mixed and open mixed combined finals from 2:40 to 3 p.m.

The awards ceremony, with race trophies and recognition of top individual fundraisers, takes place at the bleachers at 3:15 p.m.

Here’s the full race schedule:

2022 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival race schedule

If you’re planning to drive to the festival on Saturday, be aware the car parking is limited around Del Crary Park and that several roads around Del Crary Park will be closed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Perry St. from the east side of George St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Lake St. from the east side of George St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Lock St. from the north side of Romaine St. to the south side of Crescent St.
  • Romaine Street from the east side of Lock St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Crescent St. from the south side of Perry St. to the west side of Winch St.
  • Rink St. from the east side of George St at the Del Crary Park Marina entrance.

Parking is available at the Simcoe Street Parking Garage, the King Street Parkade, the Rehill Lot on Wolfe Street, and the Healthy Planet Arena.

From 7:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., a shuttle bus will be running from the Healthy Planet Arena to Del Crary Park, Del Crary Park to the Simcoe Street Parking Garage, the Simcoe Street Parking Garage to the King Street Parkade, the King Street Parkade to the Rehill Lot on Wolfe Street, the Rehill Lot on Wolfe Street to Del Crary Park, and Del Crary Park to the Healthy Planet Arena.

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Here’s a map of the parking locations and the shuttle bus route:

2022 Peterborough's Dragon Boat Festival shuttle bus and parking lots

Those travelling to the festival by bike can park in the supervised bike valet parking near the Art Gallery of Peterborough provided by B!ke – the Peterborough Community Bike Shop. Basic bike maintenance will also be available.

For more information about the 2022 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival and to donate, visit www.ptbodragonboat.ca.