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QUEENS —  In celebration of the “Year of the Ox,” the Board of Directors of the 2021 annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) a free, multicultural festival and sporting event, announce that they will be holding a scaled down, one day event Saturday, August 7th, 2021. 

Henry Wan Chairman of the board said, “We feel it is very important for HKDBFNY to have an event this year focusing on three major issues; vaccination/public health safety; HKDBFNY’s contribution to the reopening of the NYC economy; and bringing a focus to the anti-Asian + other hate crime issue. We look forward to hosting a fully vaccinated audience this year.” All current COVID-19 protocols will be followed. Only fully vaccinated attendees/racers or those with proof of negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event will be admitted.  A vaccine team from the New York state of health will be on hand providing COVID-19 shots to those who wish them. Northwell Health will also be in attendance with health information related to COVID-19 recovery.

Festival events will consist of several races. The land side activities for the one day festival will be held in the enclosed Model Airplane Field and racing as usual will be on Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York rain or shine. Admission is free.  

Due to COVID-19, HKDBF-NY, the international, multi-cultural celebration and sporting event, the largest multicultural Festival in New York and the largest festival of its kind in the U.S was not held in 2020.  HKDBF-NY plans to keep up the age old tradition of Dragon Boat Racing this year and looks forward to a large 30th Anniversary Festival in 2022.

Each colorfully painted boat with a dragon head at the front and dragon tail at the rear is piloted by up to 20 crewmen, including 18 paddlers, a drummer and steers person. This year we will be observing all COVID-19 protocols so racing teams size will be reduced.

For 29 successful years, HKDBF-NY has attracted a diverse, multi-cultural audience of more than 40,000 attendees throughout North America. The festival takes place just one day this year on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, featuring events for the entire family. The opening ceremony will take place at noon on Saturday, Aug. 7th. Racing starts at 9:00 a.m. and events last throughout the day until approximately 4:00 p.m. rain or shine.

The tradition of Dragon Boat Racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet and performer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. to protest against his emperor’s policies. The locals raced in their boats in an attempt to rescue the poet. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This was the beginning of “Dragon Boat Racing.”

Please take the MTA or shuttle bus with your MetroCard or use correct change. Again this year we’ve worked with the MTA to insure easy and safe transportation to the festival site. Festival attendees can take the #7 Train to the Citi Field stop and transfer from there to special MTA shuttle buses that will take them directly to the festival site.