The 24th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled to paddle off its first race on Saturday at 7:30 am at Olympic Kayak Facility at Clarks Bridge, Lake Lanier in Gainesville.

With a beautiful weather forecast for the early Fall weekend, the Dragon Boat Festival organizer is expecting record number of 80 teams and large number of participants at this year's festival.

“Visitors to the festival can expect spectacular Asian cultural performances during the opening ceremony. There is also multicultural food vendors where you can sample authentic Asian cuisine,” said Gene Hanratty, Chairman of the Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival, organizer of the event.

With record crowd expected at the festival, organizer have advised the general public to use caution for parking and to park at designated parking spots. Parking at event site is limited and no parking is advised at neighbor's yard. Violators will be towed at the owner's expenses.

“We also would like to advise the general public to not bring any pets, weapons, and smoking is not allowed at the premises,” adds Hanratty.

Festival participants are encourage to visit www.dragonboatatlanta.com for latest updates and race information.