Dragon boats are long, thin boats, often decorated to look like a dragon, that have been raced in China for the past 20 centuries. A team effort, boats usually hold 20 to 24 rowers, with a drummer seated in back to set the pace. Dramatic and graceful on the water, the 40-foot boats are a lovely sight to see. This Saturday and Sunday, 27 teams will practice and compete at St. Paul's Dragon Festival. A celebration of a variety of Asian arts, the event kicks off with an "Awakening of the Dragon" ceremony, followed by martial arts demonstrations, Hawaiian hula hoop performances and workshops, and children's activities. Shoppers can pick up Tibetan arts and crafts, enjoy Asian foods as well as fair favorites like corn dogs, and everyone can enjoy free canoe rides. Saturday afternoon features a variety of curry-making demonstrations by author Raghavan Iyer (660 Curries: The Gateway to the World of Indian Cooking), and local restaurant owners Supenn Harrison (Sawatdee) and Thom Pham (Azia). Some performers and vendors will be donating a portion or all of their proceeds to cyclone and earthquake relief in Myanmar and China. Go to www.dragonfestival.org for complete schedule.
July 12-13, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008
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