Date and time of eventPresident Roy Heynderickx ceremoniously dotting the dragon's eyesDragon boat team paddlingLion DanceTeams competing

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Office of International Programs
and Development

5000 Abbey Way SE
Old Main Room 430
Lacey, WA 98503
Phone: 360-438-4504
Fax: 360-438-4359
Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. PST

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Tenth Annual Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, April 25, 2015
Port Plaza, Port Plaza, Olympia, WA


Dragon Boat Festival - Lacey, Washington

Paddles up! The yearly Dragon Boat Festival is a celebration of diversity and culture that features community vendors, local performers and the famous dragon boat race. For inquiries about the 2015 event, please e-mail us today.

This annual celebration, inaugurated in 2006, draws over 4,000 spectators. Saint Martin's University is proud to host the event with the cooperation of Kaikane Events.

Beyond the spirited dragon boat races, there are Chinese traditional art demonstrations, traditional lion dances, music, and martial arts performances. This festival has always been a celebrated time for the community. To get an inside scoop check out our Saint Martin's University "Insights" feature article.

For more ideas on what to do in the South Puget Sound, visit the Olympia Visitor and Convention Bureau website for inspiration.

Sponsorship and donation opportunities

There are two major ways to support the Saint Martin's University 2015 Dragon Boat Festival:

Become a sponsor

As a sponsor, you will be aligning your company with the Saint Martin's University Dragon Boat Festival and therefore gain exposure to a diverse group of enthused participants and spectators. As the popularity of the dragon boat race grows larger every year, the festival's attendance is expected to surpass over 4,000 onlookers! This premier community event will be covered by various media, including TCTV, radio, The Olympian, and local news stations. Drawing crowds from Washington and Oregon, the Saint Martin's University Dragon Boat Festival is an ideal opportunity to relay your message to the local and regional communities.

Friends of the Festival

The Saint Martin's University Dragon Boat Festival Organizing Committee appreciates any donation amount from our supporters. Help continue the SMU Dragon Boat Festival by making a gift today!

Please contact Josephine Yung at or call 360-438-4375.

Community boardwalk opportunities

Registration for community boardwalk vendors is now closed. Thank you to all who have registered and we look forward to seeing you at the festival!

Dragon boat location

The Dragon Boat Festival takes place in the Port Plaza of Olympia near the Marine Terminal. It is a beautiful location with views of the Washington State Capitol Buildings and Olympic Mountains. The event site is downtown, near the Olympia Farmers Market and favorite local restaurants.

Please be mindful of parking and leave your car in SMU Dragon Boat Festival designated locations or a public parking space. There is plenty of free street parking downtown so please feel free to utilize that. Download a map of parking for the event, or consider using the Dash Shuttle for riding to the event! We hope you come and enjoy the festive day at this beautiful location!


Looking for a place to stay overnight while you're in Olympia for the festival? Our host hotel, Red Lion Hotel, has provided participants of the Dragon Boat Festival a discounted rate. Call 360-252-0977 and reference that you are with the Saint Martin's Dragon Boat Festival or book online today.


The Saint Martin's Dragon Boat Festival is about more than the boat racing. It is a time for the community to come together and celebrate culture. Celebration songs and dances are performed, boats are blessed and a traditional lion dance is even performed!

Here are just some of the performances to look forward to at this year's festival!

  • River Ridge High Taiko Drum Group
  • SMU Hawaii Club
  • Traditional Lion Dance
  • Kung-Fu
  • Tai Chi
  • Chinese music
  • Chinese folk dancing
  • Japanese Soran Bushi dance
  • Guma' Imahe

Teams - registration and rules

Racing rules and regulations are available for review.

Team registration is now closed.

Volunteer opportunities

Interested in being a part of this amazing event but don't want to paddle? Stay tuned for more information as the event draws closer. Sign up here to volunteer.

Day of event schedule

  • 8:00 a.m. Team registration and check-in
  • 8:15 a.m. Team captains' meeting
  • 9 a.m. Welcome
  • 9 a.m.  Team marshalling  
  • 9:10 a.m. Dotting of the eye ceremony
  • 9:15 a.m. Blessing of the boats
  • 9:20 a.m. Dragon dance
  • 9:30 a.m. Dragon boat races begin
  • 10:15 a.m. Performances begin
  • 4 p.m. Final heats
  • 4:30 p.m. Awards ceremony and closing remarks

Thank you to our sponsors!

  • Associated Students of Saint Martin's University (ASSMU)
  • Confederated Tribes of Chehalis Reservation
  • Olympia Federal Savings Bank
  • Ron Chow
  • Saint Martin's Board of Trustees
City of Lacey City of Olympia City of Tumwater Port of Olympia Capitol City Press Red Lion Hotel American Life