Sports

2017 Dragon Boast Festival Adding Elite Division

The sixth annual event is scheduled for Sept. 9-10

The Montana Dragon Boat Festival on Flathead Lake is adding an elite competitor division to the race weekend.

The sixth annual event is scheduled for Sept. 9-10. Previous events have attracted more than 7,000 paddlers, and this year festival organizers are inviting the top dragon boat teams in North America to compete in the Rocky Mountain Championship Division.

Elite teams will compete in 200- and 500-meter races and an optional 2,000-meter exhibition race. The Montana race is offering complimentary registration to the first eight teams that sign up and qualify for the championship division.

“We’re very proud of the Montana Dragon Boat Festival’s success in its first five years,” said Diane Medler, director of the Kalispell Convention and Visitor Bureau, which organizes the event. “We welcome all teams from beginner dragon boaters to competitive clubs, and now we’re very excited to invite the very best paddlers to compete in our inaugural Rocky Mountain Championship Division in what we think is one of the most beautiful places to dragon boat.”

The festival weekend will once again be held in Lakeside on the northwest shore of Flathead Lake. For all participants, the Kalispell CVB will host a Friday evening welcome party with music and entertainment. Local food and beverage vendors and a variety of on-shore activities will once again take place throughout the weekend. The event features a variety of divisions for different sized-teams and abilities.

To register for this year’s festival, visit montanadragonboat.com.

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