Paddles Up

Solomons Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, August 17, 2024

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Meet our teams

Check out all the teams competing in our paddle battle on the Patuxent!

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Become a Sponsor

Sponsor the festival and see your company's logo all over Southern Maryland.

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Become a Vendor

We are accepting sales and food vendors!

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Proudly Introducing Two New Divisions

We introduced two new divisions at the 2023 Solomons Dragon Boat Festival. These divisions fit well within the mission of our parent organization, SMCR.

Community Division

Our community teams make up the bulk of our current boats. These are typically local businesses and special interest groups.
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New: Paradragon Division

We were proud to introduce the Paradragon division in 2023 for teams with adaptive sports needs.
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New: BCS Division

We had our first official Breast Cancer Survivors division in 2023. We'll be excited to welcome these teams back to Solomons!
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Approximate Race Day Schedule

Saturday, August 17

All timing is approximate and is dependent on conditions.

8:00 a.m.

Team captains will meet with our Teams Coordinator and 22Dragons representative at the Muster area in the Solomons North parking lot.

Light breakfast will be available.

8:30 a.m.

At the Gazebo, Presentation of Colors, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem

Our Vendor Village is also open to the public at this time.

9:10 a.m.

Races Begin! Make your way to the Riverwalk to cheer on your favorite teams.

10 a.m.

Food trucks available for orders.

10:30 a.m.

The Cardinal of the Archdioceses of Washington will give a speech, our Proclamation will be presented, and the Exhibition Race of special needs teams will commence!

10:45 a.m.

Races will resume.

12:30 p.m.

Break for lunch. This timing is approximate.

We recommend you check out our local restaurants (or two or three!) and sample their specialty dragon drinks just for this event.

Specialty Dragon Drinks

1 p.m.

Races resume. This timing is approximate.

 

3:00 p.m.

The final champions race will take place! Don't miss this race.

 

3:30 p.m.

Awards & Superlatives Presentations. This timing is approximate and depends upon when the day's races finish.

 

Dotting of the Eye images

10th Anniversary Celebration

Thanks to those who celebrated SMCR's 10th Anniversary in style in 2023! We had entertainment from GrooveSpan and the Arts4All Choir, delicious food from The Board and Bakery, Dragonfruit Refresher from Dunkin', beautifully designed desserts from Cookies by Barbie, and an awards presentation for some of our most steadfast supporters.

Dotting of the Eye Ceremony

We rounded out the evening by painting the eyes of the dragons to awaken them and wish them well in the races to come.

Witness the action!

See the final race from 2019. Experience the excitement as the best of the best competed for the trophy! Paddling in this race are: AMEWAS "Drag'n Butt"; Avian Engineering, LLC; and O'Brien Realty "River Rats". Want to see who wins? Check it out!

Map of Solomons Island Maryland

Event Map

Here's last year's easy-read map of Solomons from the day of the festival!

We had vendors, teams, food trucks, local shops & restaurants... and of course exciting races on the Patuxent River.

General Parking was located in the field across from the Calvert Marine Museum. Shuttles ran from this lot and made several stops on the island indicated on the map. Shuttles ran from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

We expect to use a similar map in 2024!

Vendor Map

Vendor Village Map

Our 2023 Vendor village was chock full of vendors selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, children's items and more! We also had some of our nonprofit friends, and lots of other vendors.

The Vendor Village was open to the public at 8:30 a.m.

Food trucks were located just across the street in the Team Village.

About Our Festival

The annual Solomons Dragon Boat Festival is a fun, family-oriented event featuring 20+ teams of paddlers competing for glory on the Patuxent River!

Saturday, August 17, 2024 will be a full day of dragon boat races complete with a parade of teams, entertainment, caricature artists, children’s activities, vendor village and awards ceremony. Events throughout the week include a traditional Dotting of the Eye Ceremony, practice sessions and a Flash Mob. Expect all this and more in 2024!

The event raises funds for SMCR and its members with developmental differences.

Dragon Boating

What is Dragon Boating?

The roots of dragon boat racing go back over 2,000 years to the southern provinces of China


Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a scholar and advisor to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protest against government corruption. Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him, beating drums and pounding paddles on the river’s waters. They threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from devouring Qu Yuan’s body.

Out of the re-enactment of this legend at annual festivals, dragon boating evolved into the sport we know and celebrate today in Solomons, Maryland and around the world.