The Dragons are Coming! Gilda’s Club South Jersey Dragon Boat Festival 2019 returns bigger and better this year on Sunday, July 14th from 8:30AM to 5PM at Lake Lenape Park, Mays Landing.

Having been a part of the first three Gilda's Club South Jersey's Dragon Boat Festivals, I can tell you that this event will be one of the highlights of your summer! A record 36 boats have been registered for this year's festival, ensuring a full and exciting day of racing action on Lake Lenape.

Attending the Dragon Boat Festival is free and includes a seafood boil, a beer garden, the Tito's Airstream and food from Essl's Dugout Restaurant. The kids are welcome too, to cheer on your favorite Dragon Boat team at this family-friendly event.

The Dragon Boat Festival requires a lot of help to make it an awesome day at Lake Lenape for our paddlers and spectators. If you're looking to volunteer in your community and make an impact on the lives of people touched by cancer, join us at this year's Festival!

Morning and afternoon shifts are available for a variety of volunteer positions. Please contact Gloria at (609) 926-2699.

Dragon Boating is easy to learn, extremely safe, and an activity where men and women compete side by side towards the same goal. Regardless how old, young, big or little: once a paddler is in stroke, they are contributing to their team! Add the outdoors, the water, the visual spectacle of dragon boating and you get a perfect activity for corporate team building, or a school outing!


The origin of Dragon Boat Racing dates back over 2000 years to the Chinese legend of Qu Yuan, a 4th-century statesman, poet, and advisor to the king.  Qu Yuan was exiled from the ancient state of Chu after his advice to the king was misinterpreted as an attempt to assume greater political power.  For his offense, Qu Yuan was banished to a remote area of Hunan Province in southern China.

The dishonor of being exiled was a heavy burden on Qu Yuan.  Under the weight of his sorrow, he threw himself into the torrents of the Milou River – but some local fishermen raced out onto the water to save the drowning Qu Yuan.  The fishermen wildly beat their drums and splashed the water with their paddles to prevent the water dragons and fish from eating Qu Yuan.

The modern Dragon Boat Race is based upon a traditional re-enactment of the race to save Qu Yuan.  Over the centuries, village fishing boats went out each year in a symbolic search, and began to take part in races that evolved into Dragon Boat Racing’s present form.

At Gilda’s Club South Jersey, individuals and families are receiving the information, guidance, laughter, and most importantly, the support they need to live their lives with cancer, whatever the outcome, at no cost.

Click here for more information about the Gilda’s Club South Jersey Dragon Boat Festival or call Gilda’s Club South Jersey at 609-926-2699.