Blue Island to Host Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival | Sports Destination Management

Blue Island to Host Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival

Apr 22, 2016

On August 13th dragons arrive at Fay’s Point for the first annual Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival. The City of Blue Island boasts that Fay’s Point is the place for the whole family to spend their day, whether you are paddling in the event or watching the competition.

Each team accommodates 20 paddlers, one drummer and one steersperson.  The drummer sits in the bow (front) of the boat and beats a drum to keep the 20 paddlers in sync with one another.  The steersperson stands in the stern (back) and directs the boat with a 10-foot oar that acts as a rudder. “Bringing in a unique event like the Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival shows the flexibility and creativity the Chicago Southland has,” said Jim Garrett, President / CEO for the Chicago Southland CVB. “Fay’s Point is the perfect location for the competition; it showcases not only Blue Island but the iconic steel bridges that overlook the Cal-Sag Channel.”

Often dubbed as a “canoe on steroids”, dragon boats are 43’ in length and don a traditional dragon head and tail.  This ancient Chinese sport has become a fierce competition throughout the world and is growing rapidly in the Southeast and Midwest United States. “Our ultimate goal is to attract more people back to the waterfront of Blue Island,” said Domingo Vargas, Mayor for the City of Blue Island. “The Chicago Southland Dragon Boat Festival is a great event to showcase the intrinsic beauty Blue Island offers.”

The event organizer, Pan Am Dragon Boat has registration fees posted on their website. Corporate team entries are $1200, non-profit organizations can enter a team for $800 with 501(c)3 status and youth team entries (12 yrs – 18 yrs) are $600. All of the proceeds from concession sales will benefit the Blue Island Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization designed to connect the community through art. Entry is as low as $23 per person. Teams interested in entering the races can find more information online at or by contacting Pan Am Dragon Boat at 813-569-1030.

The Chicago Southland Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official destination management and marketing organization for Chicago’s 62 south and southwest suburbs. The Chicago Southland CVB markets the Chicago Southland region as a destination for leisure, meetings and conventions, group tour and sports events. For more information, go to

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