Northeast Wisconsin Dragon Boat Festival set for Sept 16

The Northeast Wisconsin (N.E.W.) Dragon Boat Festival Committee announced Friday the highly anticipated N.E.W. Dragon Boat Festival is set to take place on the Fox River at the Leach Amphitheater in Oshkosh on September 16, 2023. 

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The N.E.W. Dragon Boat Festival is an outdoor event that celebrates the diverse communities of Northeast Wisconsin, welcomes newcomers to the region, promotes community-wide social connectedness and belonging, and boosts local economies through a conscious curation of traditional dragon boat races, Global Market, cultural arts and performances, immersive activities, and an Affinity Fair, according to a press release.

The festival is being brought together through a partnership between the Northeast Wisconsin Chinese Association (NEWCA), the City of Oshkosh, and ColorBold Business Association as a fiscal sponsor. After an eight-year hiatus of dragon boat races, previously planned by UW-Oshkosh and the Oshkosh YMCA, the committee is excited to bring it back to the region. Teams will compete in spirited races on the shimmering waters of the Fox River. These magnificent dragon boats, adorned with colorful designs, will glide through the water, showcasing the remarkable teamwork and determination of the participants.

Spectators will have the opportunity to witness the spectacle of dragon boat racing from designated viewing areas along the waterfront. The rhythmic drumming, synchronized paddling, and the cheers of encouragement from the crowd will create an electrifying ambiance, truly capturing the essence of this traditional sport.

In addition to the thrilling races, the Dragon Boat Festival will also feature a variety of cultural activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages. Attendees can immerse themselves in the rich heritage of the dragon boat tradition through cultural displays, traditional performances, and interactive experiences. Food vendors will offer delectable culinary delights, ensuring a delightful culinary experience for everyone.

This event is not just about competition and celebration; it also aims to make a positive impact on the local community. The N.E.W. Dragon Boat Festival Committee aims to raise funds for cultural and educational programming provided through NEWCA and through the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation’s Oshkosh Area School District Education Fund. This community-driven initiative demonstrates the festival’s commitment to giving back and fostering diversity in our region.

Opportunities are still open to join and support the event through sponsorship, team registration, vendor and community organization booths, and volunteering. More information is available at www.newdragonboat.com and on the Northeast Wisconsin Dragon Boat Festival Facebook page.