The East and West collided in the heart of Downtown Austin for an Asian Culture Packed Festival celebrating the “Year of the Water Dragon.” The 14th Annual Dragon Boat Festival hit the banks of the beautiful Lady Bird Lake at 10am on Saturday and 19 teams raced their 40-foot boats to the backdrop of an early afternoon Austin skyline, in a tradition with over 2,000 years of rich history.
This annual Festival is a project of the Asian American Community Partnership and the Asian American Cultural Center, and this year visitors enjoyed various events surrounding the Races that educated them on Eastern Culture and practices. Traditional foods were available for purchase (and smelling delicious), and proceeds benefited breast cancer research. Martial arts and traditional dancing, including a highly entertaining dance involving several handfuls of children underneath a larger than life dragon costume, captivated audience members as they cheered on the 19 participating teams.
Enthusiastic spectators reclined in shaded green patches of grass as each participating team rallied for a pre-race pep talk. The water was calm and mirror-like and the boats, each with its own unique façade, glided to the loading docks where racers resumed their positions and lined up to put their strength to the ultimate test.
If you’d like more information about The Asian American Cultural Center or information about next year’s festival, visit them online at www.asianamericancc.com.