The Welland International Flatwater Centre is ready to face an incredibly busy week with the upcoming World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, running from August 14 – 23. It is expected that Welland will be hosting over 4,000 accredited individuals from over 30 countries including Australia, China, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. This exciting event is expected to generate $13 million regionally and $20 million provincially.
The first event of the big week will be the Pan American Club Crew Championships which runs from August 14 – 16. Each boat will contain 10 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer raging in age from 12 to 60, with race lengths at 200m, 500m and 2000m. There will also be two extra heats for athletes who are blind or have partial vision and those who are breast cancer survivors.
A big feature you won’t want to miss will be the opening ceremonies on August 17 in Niagara Falls. Over 20 countries will be present to wave their flags beside Niagara’s biggest attraction. This will mark the first time Canada has been able to perform the Eye Dotting Ceremony and Awakening of the Dragon. Following the ceremonies will be the main event, The World Dragon Boat Racing Championships. The races will run from August 19 – 23,with varying lengths between 200m to 2000m.
Another exciting feature will be the Shoreline Market and Expo. Participation will be completely free with many different activities, food vendors, beer garden, merchandisers, kids zone and much more. The general hours will be August 14 – 23 from 11 am to 6 pm.
“This event is a great opportunity to showcase Niagara to visitors from around the world as well as promote the region as a place to invest in and do business,” stated Bob Seguin, Director of Niagara Economic Development.