Dragon boat fes­ti­val marks an­niver­sary Satur­day

Cape Breton Post - - Cape Breton - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

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/

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