Dragon boat paddlers to hit Capitol Lake for
Saint Martin’s festival
2009 Dragon Boat Festival set for April 26
March 23, 2009
Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will
host the fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival, Sunday, April 26, at
Heritage Park on Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. The festival,
presented by Saint Martin’s in cooperation with the Washington Dragon
Boat Association, will feature 24 teams and is expected to draw 4,500
spectators from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The event, which runs
from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., is free and open to the public.
This year’s Dragon Boat lineup features paddling
talent from several colleges, universities, government agencies, and
community organizations. Also participating in the event are many local
and regional teams including the award-winning dragon boat team Blind
Ambition from Hillsboro, Oregon whose members are blind and or visually
Teams from the Cities of Lacey and Olympia are
preparing for a neighborly showdown on Capitol Lake as well.
“Dragon boat racing dates back to fourth-century
China, commemorating famed poet, Qu Yuan, who threw himself in the Milo
River to protest the political turmoil and suffering of the people at
that time,” explains Josephine Yung, Saint Martin’s associate vice
president of international programs & development. “Today, dragon boat
races are an opportunity to celebrate culture and community.”
“Saint Martin’s is proud to once again host this
event, bringing together members of the local and international
communities for a unique, ancient form of competition,” adds Yung.
The event kicks off at 9 a.m. with the “Dotting of
the Eye” ceremony, a blessing of the dragon boats, a lion dance, and
procession of the teams. The races consist of three heats and two
divisions, beginning at 10 a.m. and continuing until 4:45 p.m. The
closing and awards will take place at 5 p.m.
Saint Martin’s University has been actively involved
in education and cultural exchanges with China since 1995. Each year,
members of Saint Martin’s faculty travel to China to teach international
business, accounting and general education courses. Saint Martin’s
students regularly participate in China study tours and internship
opportunities in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Zhuhai. In addition, about 40
students from China are currently studying at Saint Martin’s.
The Dragon Boat Challenge is supported by a number
of organizations throughout the Puget Sound area, including the Cities
of Lacey, Olympia and Tumwater, the Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and
Convention Bureau, the Olympia Area Chinese Fellowship, the Olympia, /Zhangzhou
Sister Cities Association, the Port of Olympia, the Thurston County
Economic Development Council, the Thurston County Chamber, the U.S.
Commercial Services Seattle, the Washington China Relations Council, and
the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic
Development. In addition, many individuals including students from Saint
Martin’s University contributed to make this year’s festival possible.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent
four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre
wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic
Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine
colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only
one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares
students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate
programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering.
Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious
backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension
campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base,
Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.
For additional information:
Assistant vice president, Office of International Programs and
Saint Martin’s University
Assistant director – community liaison, Office of International Programs
Saint Martin’s University
Stephen C. McGlone
Vice president for institutional advancement
Saint Martin's University