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The Awakening of the Dragons Happens Saturday!

A Weyr of Dragons Gathers on the River as Teams Queue Up for the Annual Eye Dotting Ceremony

The public is invited to view the ancient Chinese Eye Dotting Ceremony, “The Awakening of The Dragons” (Saturday, March 31, 2018, at 12:00 noon 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. The event concludes with a water parade of circling Dragon Boats as the Portland Fireboat provides the traditional water cannon salute. Others attending include: Rose Festival CEO Jeff Curtis, Portland Rose Festival Queen Michaela Canete, Royal Rosarians Prime Minister Adam Baker, Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association President Mike Bostwick and the C.C.B.A. Lion Dance Team.

The Awakening of the Dragons officially begins the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat race season. Starting Sunday, April 1, 2018, each racing team will get three one-hour practice sessions a week with the boats to prepare for the June 9 & 10 competitions. There are three race divisions: Mixed, Women’s and High School.