Dragon boat festival marks anniversary Saturday
The Cape Breton Unionized Trades Dragon Boat Festival will mark its 10th anniversary on Saturday at the Sydney Marine Terminal.
The festival, which brings together hundreds of paddlers and spectators, has raised more than $380,000 for local charities to date.
This year’s beneficiaries include the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation’s cancer patient care fund, Special Olympics Cape Breton and the Cape Breastoners.
“This is a big year for the festival. Not only are we celebrating the amazing generosity of our sponsors and paddling community, but we have added activities for the entire family,” said Cyril MacDonald, festival chair. “This year we are hosting free barbecues, prizes, skills demos, bouncy tents and more. So we invite all families to come out, cheer on the teams and support our community.”
The festival is organized by volunteers, who work hard throughout the year to create a memorable event for participants.
This is the third festival for Ardy’s Islanders, led by captain Kelly O’Brien.
For, O’Brien, the festival is a special way to celebrate her dad, Gerard (Ardy) O’Brien.
“When dad died unexpectedly in 2008 while receiving cancer treatments in Halifax, we learned just how important it is to support the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation in hopes that in the future less people will have to travel for cancer treatment,” said O’Brien.
Before the festival officially opens to the public at 7 a.m. on Saturday there is also a captains meeting on Friday at 6.30 p.m. and an opening ceremony for the event at 7 p.m. at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.
The races will begin at 8 a.m. with children’s activities starting at the same time.
To learn about the Festival visit www.cbdbf.ca or www.facebook. com/cbdbf/