The Tacoma Dragon Boat Association will be one of 55 teams competing in the inaugural Montana Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday on Montana’s Flathead Lake.
The association’s Destiny Dragons team has been an early supporter of the Bigfork, Mont., event.
“Each year our club chooses at least one out-of-state dragon boat race to compete in,” Mike Gehrke, the association’s race team coordinator, said in a news release. “We were intrigued to participate in this first-time event. Many of us have never been to the Flathead Valley or Montana, and we can’t wait.”
The festival is drawing more than 1,200 competitors from across the western United States and Canada. Other out-of-state teams will come from Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Alberta and British Columbia.
Each team includes 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer, who will race in the Hong Kong-style, 46-foot dragon boats.
The Tacoma not only will be competing, but it also is bringing nine dragon boats for some Montana teams to use for training and racing. Team members also will help coach some of the teams that are racing for the first time.
To learn more about the festival, go to montanadragon boat.com.