2016 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy
Ping Tom Memorial Park | 300 West 19th Street Chicago
The 16th Annual Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy took place on Saturday, June 25th at Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown. The event attracted thousands of visitors to the park to watch thirty competitive dragon boat teams race on the south branch of the Chicago River. We were honored to have many special guests attend the Opening Ceremony: Alderman Daniel Solis 25th Ward, Dennis Jung, Mark Dietzen, Thomas Choi, Theresa Mah – State Representative, Consul Xiaohui Lu, TECO Deputy Director General Samuel Kuo, Cory Jobe – Director of Illinois Bureau of Tourism and Commander Daniel Godsel 009th District CPD. A double lion dance kicked off the event with Kelly Yee Uchima, Miss Friendship Ambassador 2016 who sang the National Anthem.
The day was filled with many amazing performances including the VanderCook College of Music’s concert band whose lively tunes wowed the audience. Yin He Dance Company performed dances from various regions of China and encouraged audience participation. Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts captivated visitors with their beautiful costumes, traditional dances and the exciting Samoan Fire Dance. Southpaw, official Mascot of the Chicago White Sox greeted guests throughout the park. The Ng Family Chinese Marital Arts Association performed martial arts demonstrations with Chinese drummers in the background. The Lyric Opera of Chicago invited visitors to record their voices for their Chicago Voices program.
Crowds lined up at each vendor booth to learn about the companies and organizations present. These included KIND Bar who generously donated thousands of bars to the visitors. Other booths included our sponsors Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office of New York, Fashion Outlets of Chicago, Comcast, Hyatt, Rivers Casino and US Bank. Also, ComEd, Cathay Bank, Lakeside Bank, MetLife, U.S. Peace Corps, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, EZBuyPhoneInc.com/T-Mobile, 009th District CPD, Lil Kickers Chicago.
Thank you to our sponsors and partners for their support and generosity which made the 2016 Chicago Dragon Boat Race the major success it was! Our sponsors were: Our Title Sponsor, Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in New York; Presenting Sponsor, Chinatown Parking Corporation; Chinatown Trolley Sponsor, Fashion Outlets of Chicago. Event sponsors were Comcast, Hyatt, Rivers Casino and US Bank. In-Kind Sponsors were Chicago South Loop Hotel, KIND Snacks, and PepsiCo. This year’s event was presented by the Chicago Chinatown Community Foundation in partnership with the Chicago Park District, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Office of 25th Ward Alderman Daniel Solis, US Coast Guard, Chicago Marine Heritage Society, Friends of the Chicago River and Canal Street Marina.
CONGRATULATIONS to our 2016 winners of the Dragon Boat Race for Literacy! First Place was awarded to HSBC Red Dragons; Second Place was Team United Sky Dragons GS and Third Place was Team Toast’em & the Pop-up Paddlers. All teams worked hard training for the event and gave it their best during the races. They were ALL WINNERS! The traditional Victory Dance was enjoyed by all. View race times for all teams.
The participating teams were: AA Flying Dragons – American Airlines, Allstate – Allstate Insurance, AT&T APCA Dragons – AT&T/APCA, BMO Harris – BMO Harris Bank, Clare Crewsaders – The Clare, Deering Dragons – 009th District Chicago Police Department, DragoNG – Northrop Grumman, Dragon PAC – CDW, Grainger Dragons – Grainger, HKETONY – Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, House Lakeside: Game of Loans – Lakeside Bank, HSBC Red Dragons – HSBC, Hydrabird and Row – Holabird and Root LLC, Hyatt Dragon Boat Z – Hyatt, Judge Liu’s Crew, Kam Liu Realty, Mad Paddlers, MillerCoors Moon Lite Brews Cruise – MillerCoors, Peking University, Pepsi – PepsiCo, Southside Rowers, The Year of HERE – Here North America LLC, Team OSI – OSI Group LLC, Team Toast’em and Pop-Up Paddlers – Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company, Team Trooper – Illinois State Police, Tsinghua – Tsinghua Alumni Association in Greater Chicago, UIC Pyro Paddlers – UIC, United Sky Dragons GS – United Airlines, US Bank, Wells Fargo Aqua Beasts – Wells Fargo.
And a Special thank you goes out to our Board of Directors, Volunteers and Staff for organizing and running this wonderful event. It could not have happened without everyone’s help!
See you at the 2017 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy!