Dragon Boat Races
The White River is an important, underused resource in Indianapolis. This event is designed to increase awareness about the River and raise money to protect and improve it and its tributaries.
In light of current public health challenges and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the White River Alliance is postponing its annual White River Dragon Boat Races & Festival. Planning for an event of this scale is a year-long effort, and we are already at work preparing for an even bigger and better event for 2022.
In the meantime, we are once again working with the White River Canoe Company to hold FREE PADDLE FRIDAYS once a month from June through August. We can stay 6 feet apart in kayaks and still enjoy the rejuvenating river. We will share more information as soon as conditions with the COVID-19 pandemic allow. Watch this space or sign up for our e-newsletter to stay informed. Hope to see you out on the water soon!
Support the Races & Festival
Become a Dragon Sponsor
Everyone has a role to play! You can help us insure the Dragon Boat Races & Festival’s success by becoming part of this Dragon Sponsors group. In addition to the opportunity to sponsor and race a boat, the Dragon Boat Races & Festival offers three standard levels of giving to support specific program elements. Dragon Sponsors are recognized and appreciated in a variety of ways. Watch this space for an updated sponsor packet in early 2020. All donations are tax-deductible and will be utilized specifically for the Dragon Boat Races & Festival and its related efforts.
The White River Dragon Boat Races are held annually as part of the White River Festival. The event serves as the Alliance’s annual fundraiser, helping to protect and improve our water.
Dragon boat racing originated over 2000 years ago in China where the tradition remains strong, and it’s popularity in the West has been growing since the 1970s. The ultimate team sport, dragon boats are 46-foot long vessels propelled by a coordinated crew of 22 – 20 paddlers, a drummer who keeps the pace, and a steerer who guides the craft.
Paddling has gained popularity for women recovering from breast cancer and survivor teams can be found all over the world. This race is co-sponsored by Indy’s own SurviveOars, a Breast Cancer Survivor team with headquarters at Geist Reservoir.
Indy’s race will occur at White River State Park with races running from the New York Street bridge toward the pedestrian bridge between WRSP and the Indianapolis Zoo.
In light of current public health challenges and uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the White River Alliance is postponing its annual White River Dragon Boat Races & Festival. Planning for an event of this scale is a year-long effort, and we are already at work preparing for an even bigger and better event for 2021.
If you’re planning to come out to watch the races, there are a few things to know that can help make the day a good experience. The Spectator Guide some some helpful maps, tips, and other useful information.
The White River Dragon Boat Race and Festival offers a lot of award opportunities – some Boat Race-related, some not! Visit our Awards & Recipients page for more information.
Boat Race Awards
There will be awards and bragging rights for the first, second, and third place race teams, as well as an Outstanding Team Spirit Award. The Outstanding Team Spirit Award goes to the team that demonstrates its commitment to fun and camaraderie by way of team tent decorations, team uniform/outfits/costumes, the best dressed or most enthusiast drummer, team-led cheers or songs, etc.
White River Alliance Stewardship Awards
As the annual fundraising event for the White River Alliance, we like to also take time to recognize the important work, commitment, and enthusiasm that is expressed year-round by many members in our community. Three White River Watershed Stewardship Awards will be given out this year at the Dragon Boat Race and Festival as well.
Exceptional Commitment to Watershed Protection
Distinguished Member of the Year
Extraordinary Supporter of Water Stewardship
(Note, the Extraordinary Supporter of Water Stewardship Award is tied to Dragon Boat Race team fundraising, check out the Captain’s Packet for more information about this important opportunity).
- River Assessment Field Team (RAFT)
- White River Paddle Days
- White River Art Canoes
- Dragon Boat Races
- Indiana Water Summit
- Clear Choices Clean Water
- White River Festival
- StormWater Action Teams (SWAT)
- Trained Individual Contractor Certification
- Stormwater Landscape Maintenance Training
- State of the Waters
- Regional Stormwater MS4 Program