Dragon Boat Festival
The Victoria Dragon Boat Festival is on now! (@VictoriaDragon/Twitter)

Traffic in Victoria’s Inner Harbour is about to get busy this weekend, as contestants in the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival try to row, row, row to victory.

The fun begins Friday with free live bands all afternoon and the Lights of Courage Ceremony at 8:30 p.m. The rest of the weekend will see teams race through Victoria’s Inner Harbour, culminating in the finals on Sunday. 


Dragon boat races are said to have started in commemoration of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet who died because of a river dragon.

According to the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club Society (FGPCS), the act of racing to search for his body in boats gradually became the cultural tradition of dragon boat races. The races are now held on the anniversary of the poet’s death each year.

The Fairway Gorge Paddling Club Society says they’ve made some changes to the course this year that will be sure to surprise contestant and spectator alike—but you’ll have to wait and see what those are.

A full race schedule is available online.

Visitors and spectators can enjoy the Paddler’s Village and other festival activities at Ship Point.

If you can’t make it out, you’re in luck: starting at 3:30 p.m., Victoria Buzz will be live-streaming races 66, 67, 68, and the Guts and Glory race (time permitting). Stay tuned for a link.

2018 Canada Dry Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

Where: Ship Point, Victoria Inner Harbour

When: Friday, August 10 at 1 p.m. to Sunday, August 12 at 8 p.m.

Admission: Free!

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