Steveston Dragon Boat Festival

What's at the Dragon Boat Festival?

Red Truck Patio brings new festival beer garden to the shores of the Fraser River

 A record 78 teams from around North America will compete at Richmond’s Steveston Village on Saturday, August 25 at the 2018 Steveston Dragon Boat Festival. The 7th annual Steveston festival is organized by Dragon Boat BC.

Dragon Boat BC Executive Director Ann Phelps is enthusiastic about the response to this year’s event. “Team registration sold out in April and we have the maximum number of teams this year, proving how popular this event is on the North American dragon boat racing circuit.

Teams from the Lower Mainland, Okanagan, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, and Washington State will vie for medals, racing on 250- metre and 500-metre courses accompanied by the drummers in the helm who keep time with the rhythms of the paddlers. Each year an estimated 15,000 spectators line the shores of the Fraser River to watch the traditional Chinese ocean sport in action. The all-day event runs from 8 am to 7 pm winding up with the Junior and Senior Cup championship races.

In between, the annual Festival offers free concerts on the Main Stage. The Children’s Arts & Crafts Tent opens at 10 am and entertains kids and teens with games, stories, painting, and other crafts.  Plus, new this year, the all-ages Red Truck Patio is open on the shorefront serving craft brews, cider, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages. Food served on-site includes bubble tea, donairs, gourmet sandwiches, and popular snack items.

The Steveston Dragon Boat Festival is held at Imperial Landing Park in Steveston Village, off No 1 Road and Bayview Street. Parking in the area is limited; taking transit, car pooling, or parking near Steveston Village and walking to the festival site are all encouraged.

Festival marks 30 years of dragon boat racing in North America

In honour of the 30th anniversary of dragon boat racing first brought to North America by the Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival, the Steveston Festival will feature a heritage display of three of the six original teak dragon boats given to the City of Vancouver by Hong Kong as part of Expo 86 celebrations.  Now cultural artifacts, the teak dragon boats have been fully restored and repainted showcasing their original beauty and traditional colours.

Steveston Festival combines waterfront races with an all-day musical Main Stage.

More than a sporting event, the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival also serves up a full day of free musical entertainment on the Main Stage, starting at 11 am and hosted by DJ Stephen Yau.  This year’s Latin theme offers festival-goers a chance to enjoy salsa and rhumba tunes by talented local and world musicians.

2018 Main Stage schedule:

  • 11:00 AM – Los Estrellas de Vancouver
  • 12:20 PM – RevoluSon
  • 2:00 PM – Los Tombores
  • 3:30 PM – Orquestra Tabasko

 7th annual Steveston Festival again benefits local charities

The Richmond Food Bank Society has been part of the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival since it began in 2011. Festival organizers encourage people to visit the Society’s booth where food and cash donations are gratefully accepted.