Here in the land of 10,000 lakes, boating ranks as one of the more ubiquitous summertime activities. Even considering the myriad types of vessels trolling our waters, however, the distinct, slender shape of a dragon boat remains a striking image. Named for their ornately crafted heads and tails, the paddle-powered dragon boats originated in ancient China before crossing over into foreign waters, thanks in large part to the popularity of dragon boat racing. Twin Cities spectators will have an opportunity to witness the decorative boats in action as a veritable regatta cuts across Lake Phalen as part of Dragon Festival, a Twin Cities celebration of Asian culture. While a standout event of the annual festival, however, the dragon boat races are far from the only attraction. Over the course of the weekend visitors have the chance to sample a diverse array of delectable ethnic foods and browse rows of merchandise reflective of Asian heritage. Exhibiting a vast array of forms, the popular martial arts demonstrations underscore cultural variations. Likewise, ongoing dance performances showcase a fascinating range of styles that encompass the ceremonial and the theatrical. Personifying the cross-cultural appeal of the event, this year's guest performer is Jonny Olsen, an American musician who forged a career from a love of Lao music. With such diversity on display, Dragon Fest stands as a celebratory tribute to our own multicultural community. For... More >>>