Frequently Asked Questions

Festival Basics

Festival Date: The 2022 Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival will be held on SUNDAY, August 7, 2022 from approximately 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Registration Fee: The fee for a team to paddle in the festival will be based on the number of paddlers on each team. Historically this has been $1785 for a 21-person boat or, in 2021 it was $935 per 11-person boat. This registration fee includes a 75-minute practice session on Practice Weekend (July 9-10), at least two races on Festival Day, and souvenir shirts, hats, and medals for each paddler/drummer.

Refunds: Race fees are not refundable

Alcohol at Waterfront Park: The City of Burlington prohibits the consumption of alcohol at Waterfront Park outside of the confines of the Woodchuck Cider Garden. The Sunset Tent will be serving beer and wine during the Sunset Party on Saturday evening.

Team Name:  Team names are limited only by your imagination. If you are sponsored by a company or organization it is important to state your company name in your team name so that our community knows who your team is. It is great PR!

Length of Races: Races will be short—just 200 meters—but there will be lots of them! The short race course allows us to keep the races close to the shore, so spectators will be able to see all the action (and teams will be close enough to hear you cheering them on). The race is fast and furious. It will last just about a minute!

Festival Day Activities: Other Activities on Festival Day will be loads of fun! There will be entertainment throughout the day, as well as a tent with children’s activities. Delicious food and treats will be available from local vendors. Don’t miss our Pick-Your-Prize Raffle, along with the return of the ever-popular 50-50 Raffle. Bring friends, family, and lawn chairs, and plan on a rousing day! Admission to festival grounds is free!

Team/Paddler Requirements

Can anyone paddle a dragon boat? Almost anyone can paddle a dragon boat after a short lesson! Each team is provided a 75-minute lesson/practice session on Practice Weekend as part of the registration fee. Paddlers must be at least 14-years-old, but there are no other restrictions. The sport calls to all ages, genders, and skill levels.  Success is not dependent how strong or athletic you are, but by how well you can paddle in sync with your team members.

How many people are in a dragon boat? We’re still working on this one. In 2021 we downsized to 10 paddlers plus a drummer from our typical 21 person teams. Since we’re still working to get beyond the COVID pandemic, we’re holding off on that decision for a little bit….stay tuned!  Each boat also requires a steersperson who steers and coaches the boat. We provide a professional steersperson for each team.

What are the requirements for forming a team? Each team consists of 10 ro 20 paddlers and one drummer, plus up to two alternate paddlers. Most teams are a mix of men and women and look to have an even distribution of male and female paddlers. You may have more than females than males, but in no case can you have more males than females.

How old do I have to be to paddle in the races? All team members need to be at least fourteen (14) years of age to participate in the races.

What equipment will I need? Everything you need to race –  paddle, life jackets, boats, coach, – is included in your race fees. Please bring a water bottle (we have a water truck), sunscreen, and a smile!

Do I get to practice dragon boating before the Festival? Your team race fee includes a 75-minute practice paddling lesson. We have set aside the weekend of July 9-10 for Practice Weekend, so mark your calendars. Team Captains will select a specific time for your practice session when they register. This is a great team building experience!

Charitable Mission

Why do we hold the festival? The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival is all about coming together as a community to raise money to help cancer survivors in the Champlain Valley. Festival proceeds assist the cancer support programs of Dragonheart Vermont, breast cancer survivor and supporter dragon boat teams, and our Pledge Partner.

Who benefits from the festival proceeds? The Cancer Patient Support Foundation was our 2021 Pledge Partner. One hundred percent of the donations made to the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival stay in our community and benefit local cancer survivors through two organizations: Dragonheart Vermont and CPSF. Dragonheart Vermont is a breast cancer survivor and supporter dragon boat organization that carries on year-long programs to support and empower breast cancer survivors. Funds received from Dragonheart Vermont will helped to support the mission of the Cancer Patient Support Foundation to provide financial assistance and support to cancer patients and their families.  

Tax Deductions

Are race fees tax deductible? Race fees for The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival do not constitute a charitable contribution for tax purposes because you receive both goods (festival hats, shirts, and medals per team) and services (participation in two or more races and a coached practice session) in exchange for those fees.

Are donations tax deductible? All donations beyond your race fees are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Donations will be acknowledged with a receipt appropriate for tax purposes. Online donors will receive an email that should be saved for tax records; we do not send additional paper acknowledgments to online donors.

Tax Information you might want: The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival is run under the auspices of Dragonheart Vermont, a 501(c)3 charitable organization.  Our Federal I.D. # is: 20-1199994.