Monday - Thursday of race week each team has a chance to practice with our professional dragon boat leaders. They'll teach the commands and give you a chance to "get your feet wet".
Dotting of the Eye
The Dotting of the Eye ceremony marks the opening of the festival. Spectators are welcome to help us paint the dragon eyes to awake our sleeping dragons! All are welcome for this event.
Race day begins with an early morning setup. Team captains meet at 8:30 and races begin at 9 a.m. Depending on how many teams we have, races will end between 3 and 4 p.m.
Race Day (cont'd)
There will be an array of craft and food vendors for you to visit during your down time. We highly encourage you to visit our Solomons restaurants and shops. There is a lunch break.
Race Day Sample Schedule
Below is a little bit more about the race day breakdown. Please note that the schedule changes based on the number of teams we field each year, so this is approximate. When you register, you will receive more information from our Teams Coordinator, and you'll be given more details closer to race week.
Teams may start arriving at 7:30 a.m. Drop off your tent, coolers, and any other items in the Team Village and park your car in any of the free parking areas on the island.
Team captains will meet with our Teams Coordinator and 22Dragons representative at the Solomons Pavilion.
Races begin! Runners will come to your team tent throughout the day about 30 minutes prior to your race, so make sure your team area is well labeled.
Race times are assigned the day of the festival. It takes a little over a minute to paddle the full 200 meter course.
Teams will begin to muster about 30 minutes prior to their races. There are always teams in the water, "on deck, and "in the hole". Please make sure you are in your team area 30 minutes ahead of your race.
Lunch times vary depending on when your team races. You will have at least an hour for lunch. We recommend you check out our island restaurants during the lunch hour.
You race results will be posted near the pavilion throughout the day. Be sure to check to see where your team stands!
The fastest three teams receive special awards for their excellence! Make sure you stick around when the races are over to see the winners.
Need more info?
Here are some FAQs to help you prepare your team.
What is the main event of the Solomons Dragon Boat Festival?
The main event of the Solomons Dragon Boat Festival is a series of boat races between a field of 30 teams engaged in friendly competition. Its safe and inclusive nature is perfect to help people discover our community’s waterfront, engage groups of employees, and raise funds for Southern Maryland Community Resources, Inc (SMCR). SMCR exists to provide inclusive opportunities for Southern Marylanders living with disabilities.
How many people make up a team?
A team consists of 17 people: 16 paddlers and 1 drummer. We always recommend having a few extra folks in your team roster in case of fatigue.
Do our team members have to be experienced at paddling?
Dragon boat is easy to learn, extremely safe, and an activity where men and women compete side by side toward the same goal. Regardless of age or physical condition, once a paddler is in stroke, he or she is contributing to their team. In just 30 minutes, a crew can be ready to race! During the week leading up to the Festival, each team will be assigned an evening and time to come to the waterfront to learn the art of dragon boat paddling with actual hands-on practice.
How much does it cost to register a team?
Team registrations and corporate sponsorships make up the bulk of our fundraising dollars for this event. It costs $2,000 to register a team. Beyond that, each team is encouraged to raise additional funds for SMCR through its team page that will be created, here on this website, upon successful registration.
How much does it cost for an individual?
If we break it down, it costs about $120 per person. All contributions are tax deductible.
How do I fundraise team costs for this event?
Fundraising your boat costs is actually pretty simple. You don't have to knock on any doors or make any phone calls (though you are welcome to). You just have to share the fundraiser page that we make for your team. Share it on social media and through email to your friends, relatives, coworkers, and most importantly your teammates! You can check your team's progress toward the goal and keep spreading the word. You can also look for a business to sponsor your boat.
Who are we fundraising for?
SMCR is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing inclusive events and opportunities for Southern Marylanders living with disabilities.
How can we get more practice?
We definitely understand that if your team has never paddled before, you might want to slip in some extra practice time. Our partners at Rowhouse SOMD are offering team practice sessions to help you prepare your team. Learn more here.