HFH Dragon Boat Race set for Aug. 19

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The 10th Annual Gadsden-Etowah Habitat for Humanity Dragon Boat Festival is set for August 19 on the Coosa River in Gadsden. Team registration closes August 5. There is no admission charge for spectators.
The Dragon Boat Race brings together teams of paddlers to compete in a race while raising money for a great cause. Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides affordable housing solutions for families in need. The Dragon Boat Race is one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the race will go towards the construction of Habitat’s 61st house.
Featuring teams of 20 paddlers, the boats compete in heats, with the fastest teams advancing to the finals. According to Habitat Executive Director Sarah Meehan, this year the boats will be smaller and hold only 10 paddlers and a drummer, for 11-person teams.
In addition to the races, there will be food vendors, live music, kid events and mini dragon boat rides.
Opening ceremony is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. the day of the race.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and 2021, the event took a two-year hiatus before returning last year. Since COVID, it has been a bit harder for teams to fill a boat, so the planning committee decided that with smaller boat sizes, more teams would be able to participate. Meehan said the per person fee would remain at $100.
“This event helps Habitat in so many ways, but most importantly, it allows us to continue helping Gadsden and Etowah County to eliminate housing insecurity,” Meehan said. “We are seeing that our community, like so many others, is going through a housing crisis. This year we had over 200 applications for our program. We are committed to sustainable growth for both Habitat and our community, and to do that we need support. We’re hoping to see the community come out and put in a team or become a sponsor for the event.”
To register a team or to discuss sponsorship opportunities, call 256-543-1898 or email info@gadsdenhabitat.com.

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