2017 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 West 19th Street, Saturday, June 24th, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce will host its 17th Annual Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy on June 24, 2017 at Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown. The Chinese dragon boat race dates back to over 2,000 years and is a popular sport among Chinese and Asian communities all over the world. Over 10,000 visitors are expected to attend this annual event.

Thirty dragon boat race teams will compete on the south branch of the Chicago River in beautifully decorated dragon boats, each consisting of up to 20 members: 18 paddlers, 1 drummer and 1 flag catcher.  The 18 paddlers row to the beat of the drummer, while the flag catcher of each team pulls a flag positioned in the water at the finish line.  The top two winning teams will compete for the championship. Races begin at 8 am. The Opening Ceremony begins at 9 am.

In addition to the exciting races, guests can enjoy riding a free Chinatown Trolley sponsored by Northstar Lottery which will travel from the park and loop around Chinatown during the event from 9 am – 4 pm. There will also be children’s activities, vendor booths and entertainment programming throughout the day including beautiful Chinese dancers, exciting performances by the Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts, music and more! Check this page frequently for updates.

Sign up to be a sponsor of the Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy. Each year, the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce donates a portion of its proceeds from the event to local schools and organizations of which nine were recipients in 2016. A limited number of vendor booths are also available at the event.  For more information and to sign up as a sponsor or vendor, click here.

Dragon boat team applications are now being accepted. Completed applications with full payment will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to increased interest, we anticipate the 30 team spots will be filled quickly.  For more information and to sign up for a dragon boat team, click here.

Thank you to our event title sponsor, Hong Kong Economic Trade Office of New York, for their generous support of this event.  Be sure to visit their booth and root for their team at the races!

The winners of the 2016 Dragon Boat Race for Literacy were: 1st Place – HSBC Red Dragons – HSBC, 2nd Place – United Sky Dragons GS – United Airlines, and 3rd Place – Team Toast’em and Pop-Up Paddlers – Schulze & Burch Biscuit Company. Learn more about the 2016 Dragon Boat Race for Literacy at https://chicagochinatown.org/2016-chicago-dragon-boat-race-literacy/

If you have questions, please contact us at events@chicagochinatown.org or 312-326-5320.

2017 Sponsorship and/or Exhibitor Booth Form

2017 Team Application Form

2017 Team Competition Rules

2017 Team Athletic Waiver and Release of Liability Form

 

2016 Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy Photo Gallery