July 20th , 2009 NY, NY – In Celebration of the “Year of the Ox,” the organizing committee of the 19th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) announced that this years competition is to be held on Saturday, August 8th & Sunday, August 9th, 2009. It will feature cash & prizes for competitors in this years US Dragon Boat Open Championship. Other festival events consist of 2 special Cup races, The Hong Kong Cup and the Municipal Cup featuring various teams from our elected official s. This year’s Corporate Invitational looks to b e a good one, with many Corporate Teams joining us to race for their company. The Festival will be held at Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York rain or shine. Admission is free.
HKDBF-NY, a multicultural celebration and sporting event, is the largest multicultural Festival in New York and the largest festival of its kind in the U.S. HKDBF NY keeps up the age old tradition of Dragon Boat Racing in colorful, custom made teak boats, which are virtual works of art gliding on water. Custom made by a small coterie of craftsmen in Hong Kong, weighing one ton each, colorfully painted with a Dragon head at the front and Dragon tail at the20rear, the boats are piloted by up to 20 crewmen, including 18 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson. For eighteen successful years HKDBF-NY has attracted a diverse, multi-cultural audience of more than 50,000 attendees throughout North America. With more than 145+ well-trained teams, involving more than 1,500 participants competing from across the U.S. and Canada, this year’s festival is expected to be notable in its scale and fierce competition.
With $15,000 cash & prizes at stake for the US Dragon Boat Open Championships, the festival takes place over two days on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, featuring events for the entire family. The opening day parade at noon on Saturday, August 8th will be followed by the New York City Championship Races. The U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship will be held on Sunday, August 9th with the teams vigorously competing for their share of the $ 15,000 in cash & prizes.
Racing starts at 9:00 a.m. and events last throughout the day until approximately 5:00 p.m. each day, rain or shine. Other festival events consist of the media invitational, corporate youth, charity race, women’s invitational, and sponsors challenge, a photo contest and raffle as well as presentations on the main Stage of traditional Chinese arts, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional Dragon dance, musical and other diverse performances and demonstrations of folk arts and crafts.This year we will be joined by Jade-Lianna the voice of the Kai Lan character from Nickelodeon’s popular hit animated preschool series Ni Hao, and a costumed character from the show. We have also partnered with Queens Theater in the Park to present multicultural talent on the main stage on Sunday afternoon. An ethnic food court, and booths staffed by sponsors of the event, many of whom will be giving away promotional items,and many community-based organizations participating help make for a unique, action packed, multi-cultural, New York weekend.
The tradition of Dragon Boat Racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. to protest against his emperor’s policies. The locals raced in their boats in an attempt to rescue the poet. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This was the beginning of Dragon Boat Racing. Special thanks to the Hong Kong Tourism Board for their support of the Awakening Ceremony.
Admission to the HKDBF-NY is Free, Events take place Rain or Shine.
Direc tions to the Festival by car – take the Long Island Expressway to Van Wyck Expressway to exit 11 south, then stay on service road to the Park. Parking is severely limited. Please take the MTA or car pool. Directions to the Festival by bus/subway Again this year we’ve worked with the MTA to insure easy=2 0and safe transportation to the Festival site. Festival goers can use their MetroCard to take the #7 Train to the Shea Stadium stop and transfer from there to special MTA shuttle buses that will take them directly to the Festival site, or they can walk from the Shea stop (about 15 minutes) or take the colorful park trolley to the festival site. Parking on-site is limited, you can park at the Shea Stadium and take the special MTA shuttle with your MetroCard or use correct change.
Downloadable photos are available at www.hkdbf-ny.org
Special hotel rates are available at several local hotels to encourage out of town team participation.
For information visit www.hkdbf-ny.org or call 718-767-1776
This years Sponsors include; the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, NY; HSBC Bank USA, Verizon, Chef One, Con Edison, J.P.Morgan Chase, New York Community Bank, BOA Merrill Lynch, Nickelodeon, DELTA, AXA Equitable Life Insurance, Western Union, MetLife, State Farm Insurance, Shanghai Commercial Bank, New York Hospital Queens, Vallo Transportation, Ltd.,Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens Chamber of Commerce, Office of the Queensborough President, Helen Marshall, NYC & Co
Media & Creative Partners: WNBC TV 4, The New York Times , Sing Tao Daily News, MultiCultural Radio Broadcasting, Inc.(AM1480, Sino Television, Sinocast, M-Weekly Magazine), Fusia Advertising, Inak Design, RNN, RCN, GoodNewsBroadcast.com, In Focus Magazine and the Queens Courier Newspaper
HKDBF NY-2009 is a non-profit, tax-exempt, cultural org