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Largest dragon boat festival in the U.S. returns to Sloan’s Lake Park July 27-28, 2024

2023 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Posted at 1:13 PM, Jul 10, 2024

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, the largest dragon boat festival in the United States and the premier AANHPI (Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander) celebration in the Rocky Mountain region, returns to Sloan’s Lake Park on July 27 and 28, 2024. Following a record-breaking attendance of over 200,000 people in 2023, this year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.

This family-friendly, free-admission event will once again transform Sloan’s Lake Park into a vibrant hub of culture, friendly athletic competition, and community. Attendees can look forward to thrilling dragon boat races, a diverse array of food vendors, a bustling Asian marketplace, and a full lineup of entertainment that showcases the rich heritage of AANHPI communities. In addition there is a Dragonland area with fun and educational activities for kids.

Denver7 is a proud partner of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.

“We are incredibly proud to host the largest dragon boat festival in the country and the largest AANHPI celebration in the Rocky Mountain region,” says Sara Moore, executive director of Colorado Dragon Boat. “Our festival is a testament to Colorado’s dedication to cultural diversity and unity. This is our 24th year in existence and each year we see more and more people coming together to celebrate. It brings us immense joy to see so many people at our festival being immersed in our amazing AANHPI cultures.”

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration of cultural diversity and community spirit. While admission is free, donations are welcomed to support the festival’s operations and programming, organized by the 501c3 nonprofit, Colorado Dragon Boat.

Festival Facts:

What: 2024 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, a family-friendly celebration of Colorado’s rich Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander heritage. This year the festival is celebrating the Year of the Wood Dragon.

When:
Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, July 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Races: 8 a.m. to dusk both days

Where: Sloan’s Lake Park (West Side) – 25th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, northwest Denver

Cost: FREE Admission (Donations are greatly appreciated)

* Please note that this is a fenced in event. There will be bag checks as you enter the festival so, please be sure to leave all unauthorized items at home!

Transportation: The festival encourages all attendees to use rideshare, or bike/walk to get to and from the festival. The event has a FREE SHUTTLE to and from Auraria Campus (onsite parking is $10). There is NO PARKING onsite at the park.

Highlights of the 2024 festival include:

New Attractions

New this year is Artist Alley, showcasing poster designs from the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival annual contest. Submissions came in from artists from all over the world and right here in Colorado. Artist Alley includes student submissions from kindergarten to college.

Returning to the festival are live art demos featuring local artists like Casey Kawaguchi, Grace Gee, Ratha Sok and more.

For those looking to unwind, there is the new Spirit of the Dragon area, where guests can enjoy refreshing cocktail drinks sponsored by the Asian Beverage Company and Love Tito’s, while cheering on their favorite race teams as they soar across the lake.

In addition, attendees can purchase water, Pepsi, and MolsonCoors products from the festival’s nonprofit partner booths located in the Taste of Asia Food Courts as well as by the Band Stage. All proceeds from these purchases goes directly to the nonprofit selling these beverages and Colorado Dragon Boat (the nonprofit that hosts CDBF).

Let’s Awaken the Dragons

The official opening of the 2024 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Saturday, July 27 at 9:45 a.m. The festivities begin with Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu parading a vibrant 75-foot traditional Chinese Dragon through Sloan’s Lake Park, symbolizing the banishment of negative energies and bringing good luck to all.

After the welcoming speeches, actors will share the fascinating history and culture of Dragon Boat racing. Buddhist monks from the Great Dharma Chan Monastery will offer a formal blessing, followed by a procession to the shoreline for the traditional "eye dotting" ceremony. This ritual awakens the dragon boats' senses, ensuring a safe and successful day of racing.

The opening festivities also include the spectacular 75-foot Dragon Dance, a dazzling performance that will leave you in awe.

See those Dragons Soar

With more than 45 teams competing, the 2024 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival promises a weekend full of excitement and friendly competition. Guests can watch as teams paddle their way to victory in two types of boats: the sleek Hong Kong-style and the colorful Flag Catching boats.

This year, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is excited to welcome a special youth and police team all the way from Florida.

Taste the Flavors of Asia

With more than 30 food vendors offering mouth-watering dishes from all over Asia, there’s something to satisfy every craving. From savory dumplings and sizzling satay to sweet treats and refreshing bubble tea, the festival’s diverse food lineup promises a delicious adventure for the whole family. Guests should come hungry, as they will leave happy after exploring the vibrant and flavorful world of Asian cuisine at Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.

Discover Treasures at our Asian Marketplace

Guests can explore a vibrant world of culture and creativity at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s Asian Marketplace, featuring more than 75 vendors, including a mix of nonprofits, Asian vendors and local community businesses offering an array of products and services. A staple at the festival’s marketplace is the large Truong An tent that can be seen from a mile away. Attendees can also enjoy the Community Craft Tents, which showcase the talents of independent artists from the community through handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind creations. The Asian Marketplace offers unique gifts, delicious treats and great ways to support local artisans.

Experience the Magic of Live Performances

With three stages set up throughout the festival, CDBF is hosting over 60 spectacular shows over the two-day event. Guests can enjoy a diverse array of performances from the AANHPI community groups, showcasing their rich culture and artistic talents. From traditional dances and music to contemporary acts, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite Denver7 anchors and reporters at the 360 Stage as they will be emceeing many of the performances there throughout the weekend.

Something for the Whole Family

Kids and families will enjoy fun and adventure in Dragonland. This exciting kids' area features trampolines with Eurobungy, face painting, and balloon fun. Little ones will enjoy the enchanting Dragon Tunnel collaboration presented in partnership with Four Mile Historic Park and Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc. Plus, families can get creative with arts and crafts at the Great Wall Chinese Academy booth as they explore the wonders of cosmological origami.

To learn more about the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, visit www.cdbf.org.

About Colorado Dragon Boat

The mission of Colorado Dragon Boat is to build bridges of awareness, knowledge, and understanding between the diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities and the general public through cultural education, leadership development, and athletic competition.

Colorado Dragon Boat is a 501c3 nonprofit organization promotes and celebrates the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander communities through their four programs: the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, the Colorado Dragon Boat Film Festival, the AANHPI Emerging Leaders Program, and the new Riverdale Regional Park Dragon Boat Regatta. For more information, please visit www.cdbf.org.

This article was paid for through an in-kind partnership.