Dragon boats are a long and narrow watercraft of Chinese origin that have dragon heads and tails at the appropriate ends. Racing them is a traditional festival sport, with crews of twenty paddlers, one person working the sweep (the tiller which steers the boat) and one drummer to provide the rhythm for the paddlers, all working in concert to propel their colorful dragon through the water. It makes for quite a festive sight. Today at 9 a.m. at at Creve Coeur Lake (13725 Marine Avenue, Creve Coeur; www.gatewaydragonboat.org) the Gateway Dragon Boat Festival offers you the chance to enjoy this ancient sport. These crews comprise local people who work in construction, technology, healthcare, not-for-profit organizations -- basically, all sectors of St. Louis society -- all competing to raise money to benefit Operation Family Help, which provides services to families struggling with financial challenges. Those teams are also racing for glory, as there are trophies and bragging rights at stake. Admission is free for spectators, and there will be food and drink available on site.
Sat., June 28, 9 a.m., 2014