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Copeland Park

Copeland Park Drive

La Crosse, WI 54603

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Event description


Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival

Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare is committed to creating a culture of health in our community—one where we all help each other live the healthiest life possible—and the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival is a dynamic representation that commitment.

The 2017 Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival will be celebrating 5 years of paddling and community at Copeland Park in La Crosse, WI on July 14-15, where 60 teams from the community will paddle down the Black River to support the breast cancer efforts in the La Crosse area.

The Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival raises funds to support breast cancer survivors through the Center for Breast Care at Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare, and additionally provides a sisterhood of support and physical activity that promotes healing.

Youth Dragon 2

Video highlights from 2015 Festival (3 minutes)

View photos from the Festival on Shutterfly

View race results from: 2013 -- 2014 -- 2015 -- 2015 -- 2016

Youth Dragon Boat Racing


How long is the race course?

The race course is approximately 250-300 meters in length. It takes an average team less than 1.5 minutes to complete the course; but don’t be fooled, it’s more challenging than it looks and even more fun than you imagined!

Who should I recruit for a team?

Teams can roster up to 24 paddlers and 1 drummer. Each paddler must be at least 16 years old in the races on Saturday. Teams must have a minimum of 10 women on the roster and paddling on race day. The drummer does not count toward the minimum requirement.

Do I need to be an experienced paddler to participate?

Dragon boating is enjoyable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Individuals on a team can consist of various abilities and strength levels. It’s not about how athletic you are. In fact, no one person shines — the success of a team depends on how well you can paddle in unison as a team. All skill levels are welcome.

Will teams have the opportunity to practice before race day?

Each registered team will receive one free boat practice. Teams can also purchase additional practice sessions.

What is the event schedule?

Friday, July 14 Schedule:

  • 5-8 p.m. - Team Tent Set-up
  • 6 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies
  • 6:30 p.m. - Youth Races

Saturday, July 15 Schedule:

  • 7 a.m. - Warm-up's begin
  • 7:15 a.m. - Mandatory Team Captain Meeting
  • 8 a.m. - Racing begins
  • 4 p.m. - Racing ends

Are there special equipment needs to participate?

You do not need to purchase special equipment to participate in dragon boating. Paddles and personal flotation devices (PFDs) will be provided at practice and on race day. We do recommend you wear comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing that does not absorb or hold moisture (i.e., Dryfit or Coolmax). Shoes are required. Wear an old pair, water sandals or aqua socks are good choices. Flip Flops are not allowed. To protect your back side, some people prefer to sit on a gardening pad or towel.

How can I get involved if I don’t want to paddle?

Become a volunteer! Volunteering requires no special skills — just a willingness to help and a desire to help produce one of the area’s most exciting outdoor competitions. To learn more, visit the Volunteer home page.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For more information about the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival or how you can get involved as a paddler, please contact us at LABigBlueDragon@mayo.edu.

What's the refund policy?

We do not offer refunds.

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Copeland Park

Copeland Park Drive

La Crosse, WI 54603

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