Paddle! Roar! Give!
Bittersweet though it may be, the North Shore Dragon Boat Festival partners have officially decided that they will not lead the charge hosting the dragon boat festival in 2015. “Decisions like this are never easy,” noted Karl Hansen with the North Shore Health Care Foundation, “and while we relished working together and engaging our community out on the water, we know this is the right decision for all of us.”
The Dragon Boat Festival was launched in 2004. For eleven years the three partner nonprofits - WTIP Community Radio, North Shore Health Care Foundation and North House Folk School - made the most of an event dedicated to “paddling for community” and the joy of summer on the North Shore.
“We hope all of our dedicated volunteers and business sponsors know how much we appreciated their involvement. Like so many things in this community, it is the people who stepped forward that really made the difference,” said Debbie Benedict from WTIP Community Radio.
“Many of us will miss being out on the water and experiencing the joy of paddling with so many great people,” commented Greg Wright at North House Folk School. “The event’s focus on the water and the way it brought friends from near and far together for a day on the harbor was a joy. I will miss it.”
Different visions for the future of the event have been discussed and some brainstorming is still underway. Several downtown businesses, the Cook County Chamber of Commerce and other potential partners have helped explore these ideas. Creating a paddling event to replace the dragon boat festival is one idea under consideration. At present, no specific plans are in place for 2015.
According to legend, Dragon Boat racing originated in China more than 2,300 years ago. read more...