Dragon boating originated in Hong Kong in 1976, but its historical roots can be traced back to more than 2,000 years ago in China. During races, dragon boaters typically paddle in sync along a 250m or 500m race course toward the finish line. You may be surprised to learn that it is one of the fastest growing team sports in the world. There are more than 50 million people worldwide participating in dragon boating each year. Teams and competitions are currently found in over 57 nations.

A dragon boat is a long, narrow canoe that seats 20 paddlers in 10 rows. A steersperson standing in the stern uses a 9’ oar as a rudder and a drummer at the bow of the boat by the dragon’s head.

Free Admission and open to the Public.

The Festival Opening Ceremonies are Saturday, September 9th at 8AM.

The festival is held at Bayview Park 2001 Lloyd St Pensacola, FL.

NE Pensacola Sertoma founded in 1988 for the purpose of contributing to the Pensacola Community in as many ways as we can by raising money and supporting many community charities.

Gulf Coast Kid’s House is a children’s advocacy center serving Escambia County. As a children’s advocacy center, we combine all of the professionals and resources needed for the intervention, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases under one child-friendly facility. Child victims and their families also receive mental health counseling at our center. The goal of Gulf Coast Kid’s House is to form a more collaborative response to child abuse cases so that we can improve case outcomes and minimize trauma to the children and families we serve.

We advise those attending the Opening Ceremonies that parking is limited; therefore carpooling is encouraged when possible. Arrive early in the day on Saturday September 9th. Be sure and plan ahead for travel time between parking lots and the festival. Opening Ceremonies will begin at 8AM, followed by races starting at 9AM. Races will end by 5PM. Awards Ceremony will immediately follow the last race.

NO PARKING WILL BE ALLOWED IN THE FESTIVAL AREA. Any car parking in the Festival Area Parking Lot will be subject to towing at their expenses.
What happens if it starts raining?

The festival and racing will go ahead if it is raining. Generally, the only time the racing is postponed is if lightning or high winds occur.

Each team will race in three (3) heats. The course is 300 meters long. Each Team will have 60-90 minutes in between races.

Sure! Lots of teams enter without any prior experience, but don’t worry we have pros from the Dragon boat company to give you pointers & keep you safe, plus we’ll make sure your team has the opportunity to sign up for a free practice session the week prior to race day. In the meantime, why not check out some dragon boating videos on YouTube to get your team familiar, motivated and ready to race.

Yes! There will be food truck area. Enjoy the different types of food offered by our food Vendors. NE Pensacola Sertoma will offer for sale beer, water and Dragon Juice.

Bleachers will be available on the Bayou area near the finish line to allow spectators an opportunity to view the entire race from start to finish.

Each Team must have 20 paddlers and a drummer. We recommend having 4 alternates as paddlers. If you don’t have enough members we can assign some individuals paddlers to your team. Minimum of 8 & maximum of 12 female paddlers.

All paddlers, alternates, drummer must sign a paddler liability waiver form prior to start of the races, which can be downloaded here. Minimum age to paddle is 12 years old w/permission. Liability Waiver forms will be turn in to the Dock Master the day of the race.


The registration fee for each corporate team is $2,500 and $1,250 for non-profit team. A 20% discount is available if registered prior to June 30, 2017. All fees must be paid in full by the Captain’s Meeting at the Gulf Coast Kid’s House Center scheduled for the 29th of August 2017. More important information is available online at

Registration for a team of 20 paddlers, drummer and 4 alternates includes:

  • A full day of team-building fun, on and off the water.
    Equipment supplied (paddles, life jackets, dragon boat vessel — properties of the 
Dragon boat company.
    On-site paddle training and safety review from Dragon Boat Company before the 
    Participation in three or more races.
    Each team receives a 10’x10’ tent space in the Athlete’s Village at Bayview Park
    Qualified experienced steerer from the Dragon boat company
    And to the fun-loving winners — awards!

Food vendors and beer will be available for sale. No alcohol may be brought in to the Athlete’s Village.

Awards are presented during the Awards Ceremony will immediately follow the Championship race.

Both strive to be inclusive, collaborative, organized, communicative, synchronized, productive, and committed. Taking part in a dragon boating session can build a sense of team and camaraderie. It can bridge gaps between staff and managers as well as different departments. Paddling together can be that great equalizer. Working together is the key to success in business and in dragon boating.

The experience will foster a strong sense of unity and a renewed common purpose. It will inspire cooperation and communication. Those that are team players will be evident. Best of all, everyone will come away energized, enthusiastic, and proud.

For the 2017 races, we will have two divisions. Each team is guaranteed three (3) races. The times of the first round will determine which division each team competes in for the Semi-Final and Championship rounds.

Please visit online at or by checks made out to NE Pensacola Sertoma. Proceeds will benefit the Gulf Coast Kid’s House.

Registration deadline for 2017 is by the 29th of August 2017. All deposits/installment payments are non-refundable.

Dragon Boats will be available starting the 29th of August. All team’s captains please contact Tracy Day, our team coordinator, at 850-380-5855 or email to schedule a practice time. Practices will include the basics of paddling and racing.

Paddles, life vests, boats, drums, and steerspersons will be provided to each team at practice and on the day of the race. Teams that bring their own equipment must use the regulation equipment mandated by the International Dragon Boat Federation.

Go online at to obtain important Safety information that should be shared with all team members.

You will be on the water. All paddlers on the water be required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs (personal flotation device) which will be provided by Dragon boat company supplying the boats. Water friendly shoes should also be worn. Please wear either closed-toed shoes or sandals with secure straps. No flip-flops, please.

Your team will be assigned a spot in our Athlete’s Village. Bring a tent, lawn chairs, coolers and any supplies you may need. Alcohol is allowed but controlled. No alcohol allowed on staging and loading dock.

DONATE online at or mail to

PDBF, PO Box 10697, Pensacola, FL 32507

Teams are encouraged to plan a simple fundraising activity to host at their tent during the race day.

Please visit online at to download the prospectus or email You may also call Jeff Martin at 850-232-4273.

Vendors apply online at online at or email us at The vendor village will be open on Saturday at 8AM until closing.

Vendors can begin setup prior to the start of the event but setup no later than 7AM the day of the start of the Festival.

Apply online at The food vendor area will be open until 5PM on Saturday; Food vendors can begin setup at 6:30 AM and must be out by 6PM.


  • Bounce House
  • Fishing Game
  • Bubbles
  • Face Painting
  • Coloring
  • Sack Racing
  • Sprinklers
    (bring your bathing suit and towel)
  • Corn Hole
  • Temporary Tattoos
  • Sidewalk Chalk