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The Awakening of the Dragons Happens Saturday!

The Dragons Will Take Their First Swim on Saturday Morning

The public is invited to view the ancient Chinese Eye Dotting Ceremony, “The Awakening of The Dragons” (Saturday, March 26 at 11:45 a.m. at the Riverplace Marina at the Flag Circle – south end of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park bowl in downtown Portland). Local dignitaries will paint red dots on the eyes of the ceremonial dragon boats to officially ‘wake’ them, kicking off the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race season.


Buddhists from the Hui Lin Temple in West Linn lead this centuries old ceremony. Activities include firecrackers, drumming and Lion Dancing by the CCBA and concluding with a water parade Inflatable Water Park of circling Dragon Boats as the Portland Fireboat provides the traditional water cannon salute. Dignitaries include President Frank Chinn and 2014 Rose Festival Queen Kahedja Burley, President Mike Bostwick (Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association), Prime Minister Rick Saturn (The Royal Rosarians) and city officials (TBD).

The Awakening of the Dragons officially begins the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat race season. Starting Sunday, March 27, each racing team will get three one-hour practice sessions a week with the boats to prepare for the June 11 & 12 competitions. There are three race divisions: Mixed, Women’s and High School.

Read about the annual Dragon Boat Races.