Parade of teams kicks off 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival

BEMIDJI — Droves of dragon boat teams and spectators gathered near Library Park for the Parade of Teams, to signify the official start of the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival on Friday evening.

The Buena Vista Ski Patrol team led the way, with other teams following close behind to toss candy, cheer and show team spirit in preparation for the races.

After the Parade of Teams wrapped up, teams prepared for the Dondelinger GM Sprint Cup Races as Bemidji Mayor Jorge Prince welcomed participants and "woke the dragon" during an opening ceremony.

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A member of the Giga Paddlers team holds up a first place Gold Cup paddle the team won in 2021 during the Parade of Teams on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

Here's a look at Saturday's schedule:

  • 8 to 9 a.m – 8th annual 5k run/walk
  • 8:45 a.m. – Mandatory all team manager's meeting
  • 8 to 10 a.m. – Race day breakfast
  • 8 a.m. to Midnight – Dragon’s Den Open
  • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – Merchandise tent open
  • 9 to 9:30 a.m. – 1/2k run/walk
  • 9 a.m. to midnight – Dragon’s Den open
  • 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Round 1 heats: Dragon Boat races
  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. – Food court open
  • 1:30 to 4:15 p.m. – Round 2 heats: Dragon Boat races
  • 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. – Finals: Dragon Boat races
  • 5:30 to 6 p.m. – Dragon Boat Festival awards and closing Ceremonies
  • 6 to 11 p.m. – Dragon’s Den Entertainment: Corey Medina and Brothers

All race times are tentative and subject to race-day circumstances. For more information, visit bemidjidragonboat.com.

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The HydraHeads, of Headwaters Canoe and Kayak, walk in the Parade of Teams on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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The Need for Giga-Speed team from Paul Bunyan Communications walks in the Parade of Teams on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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Teams make their way to the starting line for the Dondelinger GM Sprint Cup on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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The Dondelinger MotoDragons walk in the Parade of Teams on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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Attendees gather along the hill along the waterfront to watch the Dondelinger GM Sprint Cup on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer

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A member of the Park Rapids Rotary Wavemakers beats a drum during the Parade of Teams on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at the 16th Annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

Madelyn Haasken / Bemidji Pioneer


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