The Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival returns to False Creek this weekend

Jun 21 2019, 4:02 am

The Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival is back this summer for its 31st anniversary for another unforgettable weekend.

The huge three-day event will take place all around the creek at Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and of course, in the waters from Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23.

The city’s biggest Dragon Boat celebration will also feature live music, entertainment, food, shopping, family fun,  and local artisans.

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Key events to check out this year include:

All Access Friday

The festival will be opened with a traditional eye-dotting and dragon boat blessing ceremony performed by priests.

There will be live music performances by Buckman Coe and Jill Barber.

Boaters will compete in a 100-metre race to start off the weekend competitions, which will culminate in the All Access Cup at 6:10 pm.

There will also be the Survivor Showdown and Flower Ceremony, when breast and prostate cancer survivors race to raise awareness for their cause. Family and friends will come together and throw carnations in False Creek in honour of people with cancer and in remembering those have died as a result of the disease.


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International Saturday

Starting at 8 am on Saturday, dragon boat racers from all over will come to compete, with races going every 11 minutes, and running until 6 pm.

The day will also include circus shows, family activities, and cultural performances at the Concord Community Stage, as well as throughout the area, beginning at 10 am.

Enjoy music concerts and cultural performances throughout the day starting at 10:15 am with artists like:

  • Alexandria Maillot
  • Tourist Company
  • Schwey
  • Little Destroyer
  • K-OS
  • Yukon Blonde

For those looking for something to eat and drink, don’t miss the festival’s outdoor patio, where food trucks, as well as the  Red Truck Patio will be on site.

Beginning at 1:30 pm, racers will compete for five difference cups, including an all-women’s 2,000-metre endurance race to end off the festivities for the day.


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Championship Sunday

Races begin at 8 am again, running every 11 minutes until 5 pm.

You can expect more food at 11 pm and more free music, live entertainment, and family activities throughout the festival starting at 10 am, including music by:

  • Beat Spirit
  • Stephanie Pedraza Flamenco
  • Silk Road
  • Los Duendes
  • Salsahall Collective
  • Mai Tai Friday

There will be a medal ceremony to recognize the strength and journeys of racers who participated in the festival at 11 am, before a wrap-up party at the Red Truck Patio at 3 pm.

On the last day, racers will compete in the Divisional Finals and Grand Final Races beginning at 12:30 pm. Sit back and watch dragon boat racers participate in six different finals.


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Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival 2019

Where: Concord Pacific Place, Creekside Park, and False Creek — 88 Pacific Boulevard, with entrances at 1455 Quebec Street and Concord Pacific Place at Quebec and Pacific Avenue


  • Friday, June 21 from 4 to 9 pm
  • Saturday, June 22 from  8 am to 8 pm
  • Sunday, June 23 from 8 am to 7 pm

Admission: FREE

Samantha PengSamantha Peng

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