The Connecticut River was full of dragons Saturday morning – dragon boats, that is.
The 14th annual Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival is happening this weekend in Hartford.
Boats launched from Riverside Park for a colorful and competitive event.The event has grown over the years to attract thousands of people to downtown Hartford to take in the ancient tradition of Dragon Boat Racing.
The sport dates back more than 2,000 years to its beginnings in China, and it’s grown in modern times to become a competitive event around the world, including Hartford. The festival was recently named one of the top 10 of its kind in the country.
Organizers said that a record 93 teams signed up for the two-day competition, with some racers coming from as far away as North Carolina.
But the Hartford festival is very much a Connecticut-focused event, with teams from corporations like Aetna and Cigna and area nonprofits like the Aurora Foundation helping women and girls in the Greater Hartford area, all coming together for a great day on the water.
"I came here last year to support my daughter who rode on one of the other teams, and I thought this is a great way to do team building, we can do a little fundraising out of it, and just great fun, a great way to spend a beautiful day on the Connecticut River,"
Michelle Morgan, of the Aurora Foundation, said.
This is part of the larger Asian Festival happening throughout the weekend. The event is free and open to the public. Features food, vendors, an Asian beer garden, martial arts demos, and much more.
Riverfront Park is located at 300 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.