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Dragon boat racing is a 2,000-year-old Chinese sport that is steeped in tradition and continues to grow in popularity across the globe. A flag catcher reaches for the flag and the win in last year’s competition. (Photo by Kit Williams/Colorado Dragon Boat Festival)

 

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival turns 10

Weekend-long celebration of Asian culture takes place July 24-25 at Sloan's Lake Park

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DENVER – Dragons may traditionally fly and breath fire, but here in Colorado, they glide across the water chasing flags.

 

For 10 years, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has been a staple event for the Mile High City, showcasing a wide array of the state's diverse Asian cultures, entertainment and, of course, boat races.

 

This year's event, which takes place July 24 and 25 at Sloan's Lake Park, features a variety of different activities and entertainment.

 

The SCFD Tier III Main Stage plays host to local Asian-American and Pacific-Islander performers from rock group The Wendy Woo Trio to contemporary Indian dance troupe Bollywood West.

 

The Gateway to Asia area will display the customs and histories of Taiwan and South Korea. Over at the Cultural Unity Stage, a bevy of hip-hop-related acts fills the schedule.

 

This year's honorary patrons are Bob and Joanna Sakata. Bob Sakata, a second-generation Japanese American, owns a 3,000-acre farm near Brighton where he and his family grow a variety of vegetables – including 25 million ears of sweet corn. Along with his wife of 50 years, Joanne, the Sakatas have contributed to a number of different groups ranging from health care to helping the homeless.

 

Daniel Oh is this year's honorary chair. Oh, a first-generation Korean American, has been active in Colorado's AAPI community, participating in a variety of groups from the Governor's Asian Pacific Advisory Council to being a founding member of the Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership. He also serves on the National Unification Advisory Council of Korea, a worldwide group that discusses issues and unification of North and South Korea.

 

For more information about the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, including complete schedules for the stages, go to www.cdbf.org.

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