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The weather finally changed this weekend, and it was a great time for the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival to come back in earnest.
The popular Fall Creek event was resolved in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021 42 teams will participate in the weekly event in September. Did.
This year, 135 teams and about 4,000 players returned in the three-day tournament that ended on Sunday.
This is about two-thirds of the total before the pandemic, but the liveliness, crowds and smiles in the brilliant sunshine have become a special weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the seawall near Science World was aggressively packed and returned to normal for many.
Kokitam's Trish Wintle was one of them. The 66-year-old has been attending the festival for 10 years and loves it.
"It's a team friendship," she said.
"20 people on the boat do the same thing at the same time and move from point A to point B. We all need to work together as a team."
Wintle is part of Nothin'Dragon Masters, a group of about 60 old paddler in the Tri-Cities area. Many of them had two teams in the competition.
"The most impressive thing about me is that age doesn't matter," she said.
"You can learn this at the age of 16 and race beside us. We know what we are doing, so we can beat you. You can. "
"We said we could beat you. We didn't always say we beat you."
Sally Simmons, 73, said the team was around Port Moody's Rocky Point during the year. He said he has been training for several months. .. During the Dragon Boat Festival time, they train twice a week. And this week she is learning new skills.
"I'm just learning taiko," she said. "Trish is our typical drummer, but I'm learning because there are more boats in this weekend's race."
The drummer said. It is one of the keys to the success of a dragon boat and helps keep everyone in rhythm.
“If you have two or three time-out paddler, hit the drums to set the time,” Wintle explains.
"Then I stopped playing the drums and they are just doing their thing until the next call comes and I have to follow the instructions on the phone."
The Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival dates back to 1986 when Hong Kong donated six dragon boats to Expo 86 for the race. This is a popular event and usually attracts about 100,000 spectators on weekends.
However, this is inferior near Asia.
"This is one of the biggest sports in the world," said Domini Cry, Director of Development and Marketing Operations for Dragon Boat, British Columbia.
"It is said that there are 50 million dragon boat paddlers in China. Dragon boats are a national holiday of China. There is thousands of years of history behind them — at least 2 , Started in China 3,000 years ago. "
At this year's event, Maskean First Nation's Debra Sparrow, Squamish Nation's Genetic Chief Janice George, and the award-winning local design team. Eighteen new boats designed by local artists, including Chairman Tin, have arrived.
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