Paddles Up

Solomons Dragon Boat Festival

Saturday, August 19, 2023

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Festival Schedule

Check out the full week event schedule by scrolling down this page.

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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Proudly Introducing Two New Divisions

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

We will officially have a Breast Cancer Survivors division in 2023. We are excited to welcome these teams to Solomons!
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Sample Race Day Schedule

Saturday, August 19

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.

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.

9:00 a.m.

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

10 a.m.

Food trucks available for orders.

12 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.

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


Dotting of the Eye images

Dotting of the Eye Ceremony

Friday, August 18, 6 p.m.

Join us as we paint the eyes of the dragons to awaken them and wish them well in the races to come.

All are welcome to help SMCR members paint the eyes. The more, the merrier!

Of course it defeats the purpose of a flash mob if we tell you there's a flash mob, so we won't talk about any flash mob. But if there WERE a flash mob, all would be welcome to learn the dance at 6 p.m. at Our Lady Star of the Sea. Psst! Wear red to join any potential flash mob

Watch Our 2019 Flash Mob

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!

Event Map

Here's an easy-read map of Solomons from our 2022 festival. You can expect much of the same in 2023.

Be sure to check out our vendors, teams, food trucks, local shops & restaurants... and of course watch the exciting races on the Patuxent River.

General Parking is located in the field across from the Calvert Marine Museum. Shuttles run from this lot and make several stops on the island indicated on the map. Shuttles run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vendor Village Map

Our Vendor village is chock full of vendors selling crafts, jewelry, clothing, children's items and more! We also have some of our nonprofit friends, SMCR members, and lots of other vendors. This is the 2022 map, and you can expect a similar showing in 2023!

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

Food trucks will be located just across the street in the Team Village and will open for orders after 10 a.m.

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 19, 2023 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 2023!

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.