2nd Annual Lake James Dragonboat Festival


A year in the life of Lake James State Park has traditionally been punctuated by three main events; Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. With the right weather forecast, any or all of these national holidays can result in a full parking lot and crowds of park visitors enjoying themselves. After Oct 13, 2018, it might be time to add a fourth big day to the calendar – the Lake James Dragonboat Festival.

For the second year, this exciting event has brought a full house of spectators and participants to the Paddy’s Creek Area side of the park. Under sunny skies and breezy conditions, 18 teams competed in five divisions to find out which could paddle their massive, 20-seat war canoes the fastest. Locals will be familiar with our own Lake James Healing Dragons team, which finished second in the Women’s Division. Members of the park staff, Friends of Lake James State Park and other friends of the park formed their own team, called the James Gang and finished fourth in their division. The fastest time of the day belonged to the Secret City Dragons. Proceeds from the event will help fund the Blue Ridge Health Care Foundation, which benefits Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge Cancer Center.

A date for next year’s festival has not been set, but when it has, you can be sure you’ll hear about it here and in other media outlets. The Lake James Dragonboat Festival has gotten too big to ignore.

NewsMolly Sandfoss