July 9, 2010

Let the races begin! Parade, ceremony kicks off Dragon Boat Festival

Let the races begin!

The Midwest Dragon Boat Festival kicked off Friday night with a raucous parade and opening ceremony featuring lion dancers. The parade featured members of the 41 dragon boat teams signed up to compete in Saturday's races. Growling Pirates, Rum Runners and Pink Ladies were among the teams that walked along Pershing Park Drive from the boat ramp to Samuel Myers Park.

Races begin Saturday at 9 a.m. and are scheduled to run through 3:30 p.m. The best vantage point for the races is along the 1500-block of Main Street overlooking Samuel Myers Park. Loudspeakers along the hill announce the teams competing in each race.

Food and children's activities are available across from Gateway Technical College off of 11th Street along the lake front.

St. Cat's was the first team in the parade, following alum Mayor John Dickert. 

The Rum Runners donned their 1920s outfits and prepared to break Prohibition.

A parade where people can throw candy? Who knew they still do that!

A nice crowd sat along Pershing Park Drive. 

The Glade-iators


That's a great hat!

A dragon dancer in the parade 

Lion dancers at the Midwest Dragon Boat Festival 

The lion dancers were summoned to wake up the dragon boats and bring good luck to the audience.

Mayor Dickert and gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett at the races' opening ceremony.

Mayor Dickert lifts up his daughter so she can paint the horns of a dragon boat head that will be on one of the boats racing tomorrow. The mayor's son looks on. 

Miss Racine at the opening ceremonies.

Sen. John Lehman shows off his temporary tattoo. 

Waving to the crowd!