Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival draws record teams and audience

Gainesville, Sept 10, 2017 — The 2017 Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival attracted 80 teams to compete in the annual autumn festival held at Olympic Kayaking venue at Lake Lanier.

The festival started early with a ceremonial blessing of the dragon boats fleet by Buddhist monks. It followed with preliminary races by teams in various categories ranging from various corporate teams, high school, collegiate, cancer survivors, and racing teams.

Organizers welcome Ms. Joanne Chu, the new Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, who is the presenting sponsor of the festival since its inception.

“I am proud with the outcome of this year festival in spite of the threat of Hurricane Irma. Despite strong winds at the venue, everyone enjoyed themselves and had fun participating in the races,” said Gene Hanratty, chief organizer of the Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.

“In my opinion, it remains the single best event for promoting teamwork in corporate work environment,” adds Hanratty in his remarks.

Organizers of the festival also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong’s handover to People’s Republic of China with a celebratory cake.

There were several last minute cancellation by committed teams from Florida due to Hurricane Irma.

The opening ceremony at noon was a spectacular colorful cultural event featuring live performances by various Asian performing groups. Mr. Vince Bailey, master of ceremony, delivers an informative hour-long opening ceremony with cultural and historical facts.

Lucky audiences win prizes raffled away by HiSense, Delta Airlines, and Cricket Wireless at the ceremony.

Ms. Lani Wong, Chairman of National Association of Chinese Americans (NACA), sponsored a brand new dragon boat to the organizer at the ceremony.

“NACA is proud to sponsor the new boat as it is important to promote the heritage of dragon boat racing to the community. We are happy to continue our support as it is an important event in the cultural calendar,” said Lani Wong.

On the festival ground, visitors were able to sample various ethnic food vendors featuring authentic Asian cooking.

Officials results from the 22nd Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival are available online at www.DragonBoatAtlanta.com

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