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Row, row, row your dragon boat

Ready to rumble? From left, OAC’s Sue Turpen, Reggie Harrison and James Jenkins practiced dragon boat racing skills in Ontario over the weekend. (click for larger version)
July 14, 2010 - Members of Lake Orion's Dragon on the Lake committee trekked to foreign soil last weekend for a firsthand look as 125 dragon boat teams took to the waters of Lake St. Clair.

Tecumseh, Ontario was on fire with dragon spirit - the same spirit organizers say will light up north Oakland County when dragon boat races arrive on Lake Orion as part of the second annual Dragon on the Lake festival August 28 and 29.

The event is sponsored by the Orion Art Center.

"We wanted to check out their event; the Tecumseh race hires the same dragon boat company we're bringing in," said Reggie Harrison, OAC executive director, noting she and her two weekend teammates were able to experience rowing a dragon boat, and also watched the town unveil its 20,000 pound granite dragon. "The camaraderie, excitement of the teams, teamwork and overall good feelings left everyone happy to be a part of the event."

The light competitive spirit, she added, made for a weekend of fun for a good cause.

With dragon boats provided by GWN Dragon Boat Co., Orion dragon boat racing teams are now forming.

Those who wish to enter can assemble a team of 21 (8 paddlers must be women), to paddle the 300-meter racecourse.

Practice times will be given on Saturday and each team will race three heats on Sunday.

For the cost of $45 per person, each team picks a name, can design their own team t-shirts and have the privilege of being a part of Lake Orion's inaugural Dragon boat races.

"This is a great corporate team building opportunity or chance to get your friends together for a memorable weekend," Harrison said.

The Dragon on the Lake event will also feature a festival with a chalk art challenge, family activities, food, entertainment and more. Visit or call 248-693-4986.

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