Festival Mission and Features

Festival Mission

The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival, presented by Community Bank in 2023, is a charity fundraiser where all funds raised support Dragonheart Vermont (DHVT), a non-profit breast cancer wellness organization, and its Pledge Partner (an annually designated wellness and cancer-related local organization). All funds stay local!

Our 2023 Pledge Partner

The 2023 Pledge Partner is the McClure Miller Respite House, Vermont’s only Medicare-certified inpatient hospice residence, is a home away from home for people with terminal illnesses.

The current Respite House building opened in 2016 in Colchester and features 21 resident rooms specially designed to allow state-of-the art medical care within a home-like environment. Support received as a pledge partner of the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival will contribute crucial funding that allows us to provide exceptional and dignified end-of-life care for neighbors without the financial resources to pay for this care on their own. Over half of our Respite House residents are unable to pay the full cost of their care. The total cost of care provided to those residents is nearly $1 million each year.

A message from our partner: We believe all Vermonters deserve access to the quality end of life care we provide, extending far beyond the individual to encompass their caregivers, family and community. While their loved one is at the McClure Miller Respite House, family members can focus on being family, not caregivers. Our interdisciplinary team provides round-the-clock care, support and resources including: a physician, nurses, licensed nursing assistants (LNAs), spiritual caregivers, social workers, bereavement counselors and volunteers.

The Respite House is a treasured resource for families throughout Vermont, serving our neighbors since 1991. Through our more than 30 years of serving the terminally ill in Vermont, they have maintained a commitment to providing highly skilled, comprehensive, person-centered care to individuals of all ages facing a terminal diagnosis and their families. Traversing the end-of-life journey requires determination, courage and support. It takes a village of loved ones and professionals who embody bravery to accompany you through your journey.

2023 Artist Print by Jess Rodrigues

Dragon Hearts Never Stop Beating
Jess Rodrigues 2023

Artist Statement:
What draws me to my practice and process is what lies in the details. I imagine details as the multitude of places in our mind that we travel to, the depths like the unexplored ocean floor, the far-reaching ability we have to extend ourselves beyond our own knowing. There can be discomfort in reaching and exploring. And there is also wonder even in the challenge. My art, to me, is all about the possibilities that come from expanding further into these challenging realms within us. From that place we can gather great learning, healing, empathy, curiosity and a deeper understanding that complexity is all around us.

My images are details from the deepest places my mind can travel. As I grow as a human, so too will my images grow with me.

Learn more about Jess and her work on her website.

Returning in 2023!

Splash for Cash Dash

Our top three fundraising teams will race off for top honors and a trophy in this race. Stick around after the Flower Ceremony to watch the splashin’ and the dashin!’


“Free Agent” Paddlers

Always wanted to try paddling, but don’t belong to a team? We consider you a Free Agent, no experience necessary! Register as a Free Agent and we will work with registered teams who fall short of the required 17 team members to get you hooked up with a team.


MEDIA MOGUL Spirit Award

This year we’ll be recognizing the team that best advances support for the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival through social media.

To have a chance at winning, post on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter about attending this year’s festival, your festival paddling plans, and fundraising and use at least three (or all!) of the following hashtags: DHVT, #LCDBF2023, #dragonboatfestival, #BreastCancerStrong, #funraising. Posts must include your team name to be counted.

Posts must include your team name to be counted and be made between May 15 and August 4. Try to tag our festival Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/dragonboatfestival) or DHVT’s TikTok (@dragonheartvermont). Content, number of posts, and virality will all be factors we consider.

Keep it clean, keep it kind, and keep it fun to keep up the positive and joyous spirit embodied by the festival!

50/50 Raffle

Our infamous onsite 50/50 Raffle returns in 2023! Tickets will be on sale all morning–our sales agents will roam the grounds and encourage you to buy an arm’s length of tickets! Drawing will be held after the Flower Ceremony and Splash for Cash Dash!

Pick Your Prize Raffle

Each $1 ticket can win a bucket of prizes valued at $100 or more!

Try your chance at a sports event entry, services of all kinds, restaurant and retail gift certificates and more

Buy your tickets online ahead of time and we will pre-print your name on the tickets! Pick them up at the festival and drop them in the buckets you want to win. Read more here about participating if you can’t make it down to the waterfront on Festival Day.

Winners will be announced and notified after the Festival.

Check out the list of 2023 donors here and then buy your tickets!!!