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Dragons have more than their lake

August 21, 2013 - By Katelyn Winkler

Review Staff Writer

Dragon on the Lake has become so much more than boat racing on Lake Orion.

The three-day event, which kicks off Friday, is a chance for the community to get involved in some great festivities, including the "Help Kids Succeed 5k", "Charity Casino" and the "Lakeside Living Art Fair", which are all new this year. The exciting dragon boat racing will be the culmination of the three-day event.

Orion Art Center's Director Lauren Dinneweth continues to make all of the final touches to this year's events to make sure all who attend enjoy their time spent downtown and on Lake Orion.

"I'm excited because we have a lot of new community partners involved. One of the things we've been able to do with Dragon on the Lake is to be able to involve more of the community, which allows them to raise funds for their own causes."

Help Kids Succeed 5K

Runners and walkers participating in the 5K will be working with Crittenton Hospital and the Lake Orion Methodist Church to raise money for school supplies, eyeglasses and clothing for students in need in the Lake Orion and Oxford area. This 3.1-mile race will begin at 7 p.m. at Blanch Sims Elementary and will end at the Lake Orion Methodist Church. First, second and third place winners in each age bracket will receive a prize, along with a ribbon and t-shirt, which will be provided for all participants.

Registration is $20 before August 21 and $25 the day of the race. Registration begins at 5pm on August 23rd, two hours prior to race start. Those interested can go to and click on the OSLO 5K link located under the festival tab.

Charity Casino

Anyone over age 21 can partake in Black Jack, Roulette, Texas Hold 'em, and Let It Ride in the Lake Orion Municipal Parking Lot, anytime from 7-11:30 p.m. Friday evening.

The Knights of Columbus and the Orion Art Center sponsor the casino and all proceeds go to Knights of Columbus who help adults and children with special needs and disabilities. No prior registration is required to participate in the casino.

Lakeside Living Art Fair

"Being part of the Orion Art Center, we wanted to have a strong art element at DOTL for a long time. This, we're hoping, will be able to grow and evolve for the future," Dinneweth said.

All of the art displayed and on sale during the art fair reflects "fine art of casual living." There will be over 50 national and regional artists displaying their work, from paintings to sculptures, from decorative, functional and wearable pieces.

Demonstrations from artists will take place on the Art Stage, during the fair Saturday from 11a.m. to 6 p.m. Dragon on the Lake teamed up with Integrity Shows who has been putting on these art shows for more than 30 years.

Dragon Boat Parade

Although the Dragon Boat Parade is not new for 2013, the prizes for the first, second and third place winners are. The parade will begin at dusk, and spectators can watch the boats go by from Pelton's Point in Lake Orion. The Dragon Boat Parade is sponsored by Lapeer's Races Extreme Store, which provides the $400 total prize money.

"When I talk about Dragon on the Lake, what I really get excited about is bring the community together and being able to help people," Dinneweth said. "Not only do I want people to have a great experience when they come out and have a fun day, but I want them to experience something as a community and then the fact that we can give back and have proceeds from some of these events go to good causes in our own community. That's an amazing benefit for me."

Fun for all ages

The event continues to grow and will likely attract over 15,000 people to downtown over the three days. 

  A snack area and a general vendor area will be on East Flint street, as well as BMX and skateboard freestyle demos. 

The Kidz Zone will move from Meeks Park to the area around the art center. The event will continue to include Green's Park and Peltons Point. 

There also will be entertainment on Friday and Saturday night in the Dragon Pub will go until 11:30 p.m.

On Saturday night, the main stage will feature an '80's-style block party with the Detroit based Square Pegz. Artists can also compete in the Chalk Art Challenge in the streets of downtown. The contest offers $500 in prizes

Hollywood Market and 51 North Brewery are selling Baby Dragon raffle tickets. The baby "dragons" are launched into Paint Creek from Children's Park at 5 pm on Sunday at the end of the festival. Each ticket corresponds to the number on a duck. The first ducks that make it to the finish in Meeks Park are the winners. First prize is $599.

The Races

During the day on Saturday, all boats and paddlers competing in the dragon boat races will have the chance to practice before the big races on Sunday.

There will be 30 boats racing on the water and 600 paddlers.

"We have the Island Bombers, which are the winning team from last year that will be back and we have a whole mix of teams from church groups to organizations to businesses and it's really exciting to bring all of these people together to race against each other," Dinnewith said

· On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be team practice. You'll have one hour to practice with your Dragon Boat Coach which we'll provide. Official team registration happens 30 minutes before practice on Saturday. Please show up early at the registration tent to ensure your team gets the maximum practice time.

· Dragon Boats, paddles and life jackets will be provided.

· All race participants will meet and stage in Greens Park for registration, practice, and races. Saturday's practice day is a good time to set up your tents, chairs, and coolers to make sure you and your team are comfortable between heats.

· No alcohol is allowed in Green's Park.

Race Day

There will be a mandatory team captain meeting at 8:45 am in Greens Park. Team captains only need to attend.

Opening Ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m.

· Racing starts at 9:45 a.m. with paddles in the water. All teams will race 3 times on Sunday.

· There will be a Jet Ski Show in front of Pelton's Point at 11:45 p.m.

· At 12:15 p.m. there will be a flower ceremony to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, offer hope to those still battling the disease, and honor those who have lost their fight.

· At 12:30 p.m. Dragon Boat racing resumes. Please refer to the on-site score board for the racing order.

The Dragon Boat spectator area is at Pelton's Point.

· At 6 p.m. Dragon Boat Award Ceremony will be held the Main Stage in the "Dragon Pub" next to Children's Park

  The Lake Orion Village Council has granted street closure on Saturday and Sunday, on Broadway Street from Front Street to Shadbolt, Flint from Lapeer to Anderson and Anderson Street at Front. This will allow for the crowds of people to walk at their leisure and experience the downtown.

   There will be additional parking available at the Lake Orion School's Administration Building (315 N. Lapeer), the Ehman Center (55 W. Elizabeth), and Blanche Sims Elementary. During the event, a free shuttle service will be offered from the various parking lots to and from downtown.  Business owners, employees, and of course event visitors are welcome to take advantage of this parking solution.

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