Dragon Boat Races Scheduled for Kalispell

By Beacon Staff

Officials in Kalispell say the city will host the inaugural Montana Dragon Boat festival on Flathead Lake next fall.

Kalispell Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Diane Medler says the event planned for Sept. 8 is expected to attract about 3,000 spectators and 600 racers.

Dragon boat racing involves ornate human-powered watercraft. Event coordinator Rob Brisendine says 64 countries conduct dragon boat racing, which is a Chinese sport dating back more than 2,000 years.

In the events, teams of 20 paddlers plus a drummer and steer person propel 46-foot boats.

Brisendine says it’s a popular team-building experience for businesses and other organizations.

Officials say Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing will provide infrastructure for the Montana event, including boats.