SALISBURY, N.C. (Press Release) – The Rowan Chamber’s Eighth Annual Dragon Boat Festival is Saturday, July 23, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at The Shrine Club on High Rock Lake (6480 Long Ferry Road, Salisbury, NC).

“We are excited about our sponsors, teams, food vendors and volunteers that are supporting us this year, said Dragon Boat Chair Daniel Matangira. He continued, “The Dragon Boat Committee would especially like to thank our Gold Sponsors: Novant Health Rowan Medical Center, Hotwire Communications, Salcoa Contracting and Trinity Oaks, Lutheran Services Carolinas.”

Food trucks include: Som’s Teriyaki Chicken, Lobster Dog, The Hot Dog Shack, The Little Piggy, Mollie’s Minis, High Rock Kettlecorn, Boardwalk Baker cheesecakes, KB Deal Ice Cream and Dolce Italian Ice.

“New Sarum Brewing company will feature a special craft Dragon Boat beer with dragon fruit and rice lager that will only be available for festival attendees, and last year they sold out before the day was over,” said Chamber President Elaine Spalding. She continued, “United Beverages will also have Miller Beer products, we’ll have Cheerwine and plenty of bottled water to keep everyone hydrated.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a boxed or canned non-perishable food donation item for Rowan Helping Ministries (RHM). “As a RHM board member, I know their food pantry is extremely low. With children out of school for the summer months, it’s important to provide food for families in need,” said Matangira,

He continued, “RHM will provide a trailer for Dragon Boat participants to place their donations and they will pick up the trailer after the event. There is no charge to attend the Dragon Boat Festival, so this will be considered your optional donation item to help our community.”

Doug Rice, President and lead anchor for Performance Racing Network and host of PRN NASCAR weekly talk show “Fast Talk” will serve as the official Dragon Boat Race emcee for the day. Livingstone College’s radio station host Mz Good Newz, Genia Woods, will provide music between races. Sydney Lett, rising Country Music Star, will sing the National Anthem and perform during the noon lunch break from racing.

Over 3,000 spectators are expected to attend this unique dragon boat race, the fastest growing water sport in the country. It will be a fun day on High Rock Lake, North Carolina’s second largest lake.

Dragon Boat Festival Schedule:

  • 8 a.m. Spectator gates open & vendor ready for business
  • 9 a.m. Opening ceremonies, Races begin
  • 12 noon Lunch break w/entertainment, festivities & Drummer Parade
    • Novant Health Corporate Cup Award Presentation
    • Sydney Lett, country music singer/songwriter
  • 1 p.m. Semi-finals races
  • 2 p.m. Championship race
  • 3:30 p.m. Awards ceremony

The event is FREE to attend, and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and make it a fun lakeside party. However, no pets, coolers nor outside food will be allowed as local food and beverage vendors will have an array of offerings. East Rowan High School Booster Club is handling the parking for $5 per car; parking is available in adjacent lots to the Shrine Club. F&M Bank will provide trolley rides between the parking areas and the Shrine Club property.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a fund raiser for the Rowan Chamber’s small business programs and services. Previous team captains have said it’s the best team building exercise in which they have ever participated.


Pan Am Dragon Boat will oversee the competition and provide each team with all the necessary equipment (boat, paddles, life vests). Teams learn how to paddle during an introductory practice session. Each team has 20 paddlers (a minimum of eight must be female), and a drummer. On race day, each team will compete in three heats on a 300m straight course.

Dragon Boat racing is a 2,300-year-old tradition from Ancient China with 45’ sleek boats donned with dragon heads, tails, and scales that seat 20 paddlers each. Colorful drummers sit in the bow pounding the drum to the beat of the paddlers’ stroke, and a steersperson stands in the stern guiding the team down the water racecourse.

For more information, please contact the Rowan Chamber at 704.633.4221 or info@rowanchamber.com or follow us at #DragonBoatsRowan2022 and check out our website RowanChamberDragonBoat.org.


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