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Grand Ronde Tribe to Welcome Dragon Boats to Homeland in 2017

Tribal Elders will Join the Dragon’s Awakening Ceremony for the First Time!

The Grand Ronde Tribe will welcome the ancient dragons of Kaohsiung, Taiwan to their homeland. The Awakening of the Dragons is a traditional ceremony conducted each year before the Rose Festival to officially begin the Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race season. The colorful eye dotting ceremony will be further highlighted this year with the appearance of the Grand Ronde Canoe Family, who will sing a traditional song during the Eye Dotting Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12:00 noon at RiverPlace Marina.

The traditional ceremony with local and visiting dignitaries painting red dots on the eyes of the unique Dragon Boat figure heads to officially “wake” them up. Buddhists from the Hui Lin Temple in West Linn lead this centuries old ceremony. Activities include firecrackers, drumming and Lion Dancing by the CCBA. The event concludes with a water parade of circling Dragon Boats as the Portland Fireboat provides the traditional water cannon salute. Grand Ronde Council Woman Denise Harvey will join distinguished guests from the Portland Rose Festival and the City of Portland to participate in the ceremonies.

The Awakening of the Dragons officially begins the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat race season. Starting Sunday, April 2, each racing team will get three one-hour practice sessions a week with the boats to prepare for the June 10 & 11 competitions. There are three race divisions: Mixed, Women’s and High School.

Join in viewing this delightful annual event held at the Riverplace Marina at the Flag Circle (at the south end of the Tom McCall Waterfront Park bowl in downtown Portland).

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