Dragons Awaken Saturday at Noon
The public is invited to the official beginning of the Dragon Boat race season at Saturday’s ‘Awakening the Dragons’ annual ceremony. At noon on Saturday, March 30, an ancient Buddhist ceremony will take place at RiverPlace Marina (1510 SW Harbor Way — at the flag circle at the south end of Waterfront Park), where the eyes of the Dragon Boats will be opened in preparation for the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race, produced by the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.
Master Yuandan Trinley Dorje Rinpoche from the Hui Lin Temple leads the centuries old Chinese ceremony, which will include local and visiting dignitaries — with the change to meet new and LARGER boats making their debut on the Willamette River. Activities include Lion Dancing and drumming (by the Lee Association), dockside eye dotting and volunteer paddle teams parading the Dragon Boats around the river. Attendees include: Commissioner Steve Novick (City of Portland), Director General Andy Chin (Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle), President-Elect Frank Chinn and CEO Jeff Curtis (Portland Rose Festival), Prime Minister Gayle Whitehurst (the Royal Rosarians) and Bing Kong Association Lion Dancers.
Awakening the Dragons officially begins the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat race season. Starting Sunday, teams will each get three one-hour practice sessions a week with the boats to prepare for the June competition in three race divisions: Mixed, Women’s and High School.