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    Paddles Up – The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival
    Articles, Blog

    Paddles Up – The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival

    September 11, 2019


    >>>WELCOME TO THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. IT’S THE SIXTH ANNUAL LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL.>>PADDLES UP IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE MINNESOTA ARTS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE FUND AND THE CITIZENS OF MINNESOTA.>>EACH YEAR DRAGON BOATS CRUISE INTO THE LAKE BEMIDJI SHORELINE. TOURISTS AND LOCALS ALIKE SWARM BEMIDJI’S WATERFRONT AND DOWNTOWN SHOPS ALL FOR THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. 2011 MARKED THE 6th YEAR THIS CULTURAL CELEBRATION HAS BEEN A GROWING ATTRACTION IN DOWNTOWN BEMIDJI. THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL IS HELD ON THE FIRST SATURDAY EACH AUGUST.>>A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE BOATS HERE AND THE TRANSPORTATION FEES AND THE LANGUAGE VILLAGES FOR THE DANCES AND THE DRUMS. YOU KNOW, ALL THAT LITTLE SPECIAL TOUCHES THAT MAKE THIS FESTIVAL SO UNIQUE.>>THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL CERTAINLY COULDN’T HAPPEN WITHOUT THE HELP OF A TON OF PEOPLE. IT’S A COMMUNITYWIDE EFFORT LITERALLY FROM THE BUSINESSES THAT HELP FISCALLY SPONSOR THE EVENT, INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS THAT HELP IN A VARIETY OF CAPACITIES, TO THE CITY OF BEMIDJI THAT ALLOWS US OBVIOUSLY TO USED WATERFRONT FOR THE WEEKEND. IT’S JUST AN INCREDIBLE TEAM EFFORT AND IT JUST GOES TO SHOW I THINK WHAT KIND OF A COMMUNITY AND REGION THIS IS TO GET TOGETHER, FIRST OF ALL, NOT KNOWING WHAT IN THE WORLD A DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL IS AND THEN TO GROW WITH THE FESTIVAL OVER THE YEARS TO MAKE IT WHAT IT IS TODAY. IT JUST SPEAKS TO WHAT A GREAT PLACE BEMIDJI.>>THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL STARTED IN 2006. AND IT REALLY WAS THE RESULT OF US BEING AWARE OF WHAT HAPPENED IN DULUTH, THEY HAVE A NICE FESTIVAL IN DULUTH CALLED THE LAKE SUPERIOR DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. LIKE THIS ONE, THAT FESTIVAL IS ALSO RUN BY LOCAL ROTARY CLUBS. SO IT’S WITH THE LOCAL ROTARY CLUB INFLUENCE THAT WE HAD BEEN OVER, THERE SEEING THEIR FESTIVAL AND SAW, YOU KNOW WHAT WE HAVE SUCH A SPECTACULAR VENUE HERE. VERY SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY AND A GREAT LOCAL ROTARY CLUB, A GREAT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHAMBER. JUST A LOT OF REASONS THAT WE THOUGHT THIS WILL WORK OUT GREAT HERE.>>GREAT WHITE NORTH, A TORONTO BASED COMPANY SPECIALIZING IN RACE PRODUCTION HAS BEEN A MAIN PARTNER OF THE LAKE DEM DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL SINCE THE INCEPTION. BEMIDJI IS ONE OF MANY RACES IN NORTH AMERICA COORDINATED BY THE COMPANY. THE BOATS ARE DELIVERED BY TRUCK, UNLOADED BY CRANE, AND RELEASED INTO THE WATERS OF LAKE BEMIDJI.>>THE ROTARY VOLUNTEERS, AND EVERYBODY TAKES CARE OF THE FESTIVAL, PART OF WHAT GOES ON HERE. BUT GREAT WHITE NORTH REALLY OVERSEES THE RACE-SPECIFIC PART. BECAUSE THEY’RE THE EXPERTS.>>I’M HERE TO GO OVER SOME OF THE PROCEDURES FOR TOMORROW. SOME OF THE SAFETY ISSUES, THE RACE SCHEDULE, HOW THE PROGRESSIONS WORK AND THAT SORT OF THING. AS WELL ARE STARTERS CATHERINE SHE’LL GO OVER THE START COMMANDS THAT YOU’LL HEAR ON THE START LINE, SO YOU KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT TOMORROW. OKAY. OUR BIGGEST CONCERN IS YOUR SAFETY. OKAY. SO I’M GOING TO GO OVER SOME SAFETY ISSUES IN TERMS OF THE RACING, EVERYONE GETS TWO RACES. ONE IN THE MORNING, ONE IN THE AFTERNOON. YOU SHOULD KNOW THE TIMES OF YOUR RACES. WHILE I’M TALKING ABOUT TIMING, WE WILL TRY TO STICK TO THE SCHEDULE TOMORROW. THERE WERE CONCERNS LAST YEAR WE WENT AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. BUT BE AWARE IF THE WEATHER IS TAKING A TURN FOR THE WORST, AND I UNDERSTAND IT’S IFFY FOR TOMORROW, IF THERE’S IMPENDING STORMS IN THE AREA, WELL, IF WE CAN MOVE QUICKER TO TRY AND GET EVERYBODY TWO RACES AS YOU ARE PROMISED, OKAY?>>GREAT WHITE NORTH IS IN A CENTRAL PART OF RACE DAY. THEY BRING THE EQUIPMENT, SET THE COURSE, START AND OFFICIATE THE RACES AND ENSURE THE SAFETY OF PARTICIPANTS WHILE ON THE WATER.>>THEY STRIKE A NICE BALANCE BETWEEN BEING HARD-CORE RACE OFFICIALS, ALL ABOUT GETTING EVERYTHING EXACTLY RIGHT, WITH RECOGNIZING THIS IS ALL ABOUT FUN, TOO. AND WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO HAVEN’T DONE THIS BEFORE, AND SO THEY’RE DOING THEIR BEST AND THEY’RE HAVING A GOOD TIME. IN THE SPIRIT OF THAT, STILL DO A NICE JOB OF RUNNING OUR RACE FOR US.>>IN TERMS OF — YES, THE DRUMMER DOESN’T COUNT. THE DRUMMER IS A FEMALE, YOU STILL NEED EIGHT FEMALE PADDLERS.>>THE FIRST LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL BACK IN 2006 HAD 36 TEAMS. AND SINCE THEN, WE’VE GROWN EVERY YEAR. THE BIGGEST LEAP WAS FROM YEAR ONE TO YEAR TWO. I THINK A LOT OF THAT BECAUSE KNOW ONE KNEW WHAT A DRAGON BOAT WAS. AND THEY WERE A LITTLE LEERY OF MAYBE PARTICIPATING. THEY CAME DOWN TO WATCH THE FIRST YEAR AND A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM THERE ON OUT SAID I WANT TO DO THAT. THAT LOOKS LIKE A LOT OF FUN. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. ALL THE EQUIPMENT IS PROVIDED AND THEY LEARN THAT THE FIRST YEAR. SO THE SECOND YEAR I BELIEVE WE HAD 60 TEAMS. AND THEN IN YEAR THREE WE UPPED IT TO 63 OR 64. AND YEAR FOUR WAS A COUPLE MORE TEAMS AND LAST YEAR 67. THIS YEAR WE’VE GROWN, I GUESS, THE SECOND LARGEST INCREASE FROM YEAR-TO-YEAR, WE’RE UP TO 77 TEAMS REGISTERED FOR THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL. SO IT’S BEEN INCREDIBLE TO SEE. BUT THE BIGGEST YEAR GROWTH WAS FROM YEAR ONE TO YEAR. TWO BECAUSE IT TOOK A LOT OF CONVINCING TO HAVE THE 36 TEAMS ENTER THE FIRST YEAR. NOT SO MUCH CONVINCING FROM THERE ON OUT.>>WE HAVE HIRED THE INITIAL FESTIVAL, THE 2006. SO THE VERY FIRST RUNNING OF THE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. AND WE DEVELOPED A TEAM BY THE NAME OF THE WOOLLY IRISHMEN. WE DID VERY WELL THAT YEAR. WE WON THE VERY FIRST LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. AND IT WAS A HOOT. IT GOT VERY POPULAR, AND WE HAD MORE PEOPLE THAT WANTED TO BE ON THE WOOLLY IRISHMEN THAN WE KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH. WE WERE LOOKING AT 35, 45 PEOPLE THAT ALL OF A SUDDEN WANTED TO BE WOOLLY IRISHMEN. WHAT WE DECIDED TO DO IS HAVE A WOOLLY IRISHMEN AND A FRIENDS OF THE WOOLLY IRISHMEN TEAM. AND THE IDEA WAS QUITE SIMPLE THAT WE WOULD HAVE A VERY COMPETITIVE GROUP AND MORE OF OUR SOCIAL GROUP. OVER THE WINTER, TALKING WITH SOME OF MY SKIING FRIENDS AND OBVIOUSLY SOME OF MY MARATHON ACQUAINTANCES, WE DECIDED TO PUT TOGETHER A TEAM PURELY MADE UP OF PADDLERS, OR IF NOT JUST PADDLERS, THEY WOULD BE SKIERS AND CYCLISTS AND TRIATHLETES, JUST PEOPLE THAT WE KNEW THAT HAD A PASSION TO WORK HARD AND PLAY HARD. AND WE DEVELOPED A TEAM CALLED THE HYDRAHEAD. WE CHOSE HYDRAHEAD BECAUSE HYDRAHEAD IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY IS A MULTI-HEADED DRAGON. AND IT KIND OF WENT REALLY WELL WITH THE FESTIVAL. AND WE THOUGHT, YOU KNOW, YOU CUT THE HEAD OFF OF ONE DRAGON IT WILL GROW TWO MORE HEADS. THAT WAS KIND OF OUR WHOLE MANTRA. WE WERE GOING TO BE THE MULTI-HEADED DRAGON. WE’RE A VERY COHESIVE UNIT ONCE WE GET GOING. I THINK THAT’S THE BIGGEST PART OF THE STRATEGY OF THE THIS THING, IS TO HAVE A COHESIVE UNIT.>>THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL ATTRACTS A HUGE CROWD. THOUSANDS OF ONLOOKERS COVER THE LAKE BEMIDJI WATERFRONT AND THE TEAMS ARE VERY DIVERSE. SOME BOATS ARE MADE UP OF LOCAL BUSINESSES, MEMBERS FROM VARIOUS PAIDLING ASSOCIATIONS, FAMILY TEAMS AND EVEN SOME TRAVELING TEAMS.>>THE A TEAM WAS FORMED FOR THIS FESTIVAL. WE TRIED TO COME UP WITH A CREATIVE NAME TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHERE WE’RE FROM. WE CAME UP WITH THE A TEAM BASED ON THE MOVIE THE A TEAM WITH THE CANADIAN SPIN ON IT.>>BEING ON THE BOAT IS QUITE INTERESTING, WHETHER YOU ARE A PAD LER OR DRUMMER, AND I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO SERVE IN BOTH CAPACITIES. WHETHER YOU ARE THE DRUMMER OR AS I LIKE TO CALL IT THE YELLER, AND YOU SIT IN THE VERY FRONT OF THE BOAT, UP ABOVE EVERYBODY ELSE. AND YOU WOULD SPEED UP THE PACE TO GET THE BOAT MOVING FASTER AND THE FINAL PUSH FOR THE FINISH LINE. BEING A DRUMMER IS CERTAINLY THAN BEING A PADDLER. YOU’RE UP ABOVE EVERYTHING AND YOU CAN LOOK AROUND AND KNOW WHERE YOU’RE AT. IF YOU’RE PADDLER ON A DRAGON BOAT, THAT’S ULTRAINTENSE. YOU’RE CONCENTRATING ON THE TWO PEOPLE AT THE FRONT OF THE BOAT. THEY’RE THE LEAD PADDLERS AND THEY SET THE PACE AND YOU WANT TO TIME YOUR PADDLE TO THE FRONT TWO ROWERS. AND WHEN THEIR PADDLE GOES IN THE WATER, THAT’S WHEN YOURS IS SUPPOSE TO GO IN THE WATER. AND YOU REALLY ARE UNAWARE OF YOUR ENVIRONMENT. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW FAR YOU ARE DOWN THE COURSE. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO TURN LOOK AROUND, SEE WHO IS NEXT TO YOU. AS FAR AS THE OTHER RACERS, LOOK AT THE CROWD AND THE AMPHITHEATER. YOU’RE CONCENTRATED AGAIN ON THE FRONT TWO PADDLERS. AND WHEN THEIR PADDLE GOES INTO THE WATER, YOURS HAS TO GO INTO THE WATER. AND IT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER WHEN YOU’RE IN THE BOAT. IT’S TAKING FOREVER TO GET DOWN THE RACECOURSE. IN REALITY BETWEEN TWO AND TWO MINUTES 45 SECONDS AND THAT’S IT. AND YOU’RE DONE. IT’S EXHILARATING WHEN YOU GET DOWN. BUT IT’S A LOT OF EFFORT GOING DOWN THE RACECOURSE. YOU HAVE TO PUT EVERYTHING INTO IT ALL TWO, TWO AND A HALF MINUTES. IT’S JUST TOTALLY DIFFERENT. YOU HAVE TO BE ON THE BOAT TO COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND IT.>>EACH TEAM APPROACHES PRACTICE DIFFERENTLY. ALL TEAMS GET A CHANCE TO PADDLE TWICE DURING THE WEEK OF PRACTICE. THIS ALLOWS PADDLERS TO GET A FEEL FOR THE BOAT AND WORK ON THE TIMING WITH THE DRUMMER. TEAM HYDRAHEAD OPTED TO PRACTICE CLOSER TO RACE DAY.>>DIFFERENT WAYS TO APPROACH THAT. SO WE PADDLE KIND OF EASY YESTERDAY. JUST TO GET RHYTHM DOWN AND WORK WITH THE CREW, TIMING, TIMING TIMING. THAT’S SO IMPORTANT IN THIS. AND THEN TODAY WILL BE A MUCH MORE AGGRESSIVE DAY. YOU KNOW, WE’LL WORK ON OUR START. WE’LL WORK ON OUR TEMPO. AND THEN TOMORROW WE RACE. IF THERE’S ONE THING THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK A TEAM IN THIS EVENT, IT HAS TO DO WITH THEY’RE STAYING IN RHYTHM WITH EACH OTHER. MY LONG-TIME DRUMMER COULD NOT BE HERE, AND THE DRUMMER IS A VERY INTERESTING POSITION. THEIR ENTHUSIASM, THEIR VOICE THEIR CONTROL OF THE BOAT, IT JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. AND YOU GOT FIND A CERTAIN PERSON THAT HAS THAT KIND OF CHARACTERISTICS AND QUALITIES. WE HAVE A NEW WOMAN THIS YEAR AND IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD RUN LAST NIGHT. YOU KNOW, BUT THAT WILL BE OUR FOCUS TODAY, TO GET HER TO WORK WITH THIS CREW. BECAUSE THEY CAN ACCIDENTALLY CHANGE OUR TEMPO, YOU KNOW, WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING. THEY CAN GET EXCITED. THE>>THE DRUMMER IS A KEY COMPONENT. IT’S THEIR VOICE AND DRUMMING THAT KEEPS THE PADDLERS IN SYNCH AND ON PACE. PROPER PADDLING TECHNIQUE IS ALSO VITAL.>>IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER.>>PADDLES UP.>>SO WE HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY OUT TO THE FRONT. SO YOU’RE GOING TO HIT THEIR HIP SO YOU’RE GOING TO HIT THEIR HIP TO YOUR HIP. THAT’S IT. JUST RIGHT HERE, HIP TO HIP. HIP TO HIP. AS WE START PRACTICING, YOU’RE GOING TO WANT TO KEEP THIS UP IN THE AIR. WE DON’T DO THIS. LIKE A CANOE.>>WELL, THE BEST WAY TO PADDLE WE TRY AND USE A T1 STYLE FROM A CANOE, WHERE YOU ENGAGE YOUR CORE OF YOUR BODY AND YOUR LEGS AND TRY AND KEEP YOUR ARMS LOCKED, STARTING OUT WITH AN A-FRAME AND REALLY PLANTING THE PADDLE AND DRIVING BACK WITH YOUR BODY AS OPPOSED TO USING YOUR ARMS WITH A PADDLE. ROTATE YOUR BODY, BOTH ARMS STRAIGHT AND YOU CREATE AN A PATTERN. OTHER SIDE OF THE A, AND THEN THE ARM OF THE A IS ACROSS. PLANT YOUR PADDLE, DRIVE DOWN WITH BOTH ARMS. KEEPING SITTING UP. AND THEN EXITING THE WATER AND RETURNING FORWARD. AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, AFTER YOU PLANT THE PADDLE AND COME THROUGH, YOU REALLY TRY TO HAVE YOUR BODY, THE CORE OF YOUR BODY AND YOUR LEGS CREATE THE POWER AS OPPOSED TO THE ARMS.>>IT TAKES REACHING WITH THIS SHOULDER AND THIS LOWER HAND TO TURN MY BODY AND MY CHEST TO THE CENTER OF THE BOAT. OKAY. TO GET IT IN, HANDS BACK, AND SIT UP. AND GET BACK OUT. WE TRY NOT TO LOOK AT THE PADDLE IN FRONT OF US. WE DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO NOT LOOK AT THE PADDLE IN FRONT OF US. IF I’M PADDLING HERE, I LOOK AT THIS. MIKE IS MY KEY MAN. WHEN MARK’S HAND IS UP IN THE AIR, MY HAND IS UP IN THE AIR. >>GO, GO, GO, GO, GO.>>LET IT RIDE. 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, POWER AND 9, 8, 7, 6 –>>SO IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT THE FUN INVOLVED AROUND THE RACING AND IT’S REALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT. I THINK PEOPLE ONCE THEY GET INTO BOAT AND PADDLE AND THAT WHILE IT IS SOME PHYSICAL WORK REQUIRED, IT’S REALLY NOT THAT DIFFICULT. AND IT ONLY LASTS A SHORT PERIODS OF TIME. SO ANYBODY 14 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER CAN DO IT AND I’D ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY TO GIVE IT A TRY. YOU’LL FIND IT A WORTHWHILE EXPERIENCE.>>I TURNED 14 TODAY, AND IT’S REALLY EXCITING BECAUSE FOR THE DRAGON BOAT YOU HAVE TO BE 14 YEARS OLD ON YOUR FIRST PRACTICE DAY. AND THAT WOULD BE TODAY. SO IT’S REALLY EXCITING. YOU DON’T THINK IT LOOKS THAT DIFFICULT WHEN YOU’RE WATCHING PEOPLE. BUT IT REALLY TAKES A LOT OF STRENGTH. YOU HAVE TO GO A LONGER DISTANCE THAN YOU THINK. JUST KEEP ROWING. KEEP ROWING. THE MOST EXCITING IS WHEN YOU’RE OUT THERE, YOU’RE GETTING READY TO GO. AND THEN IT’S JUST LIKE YOU’RE THERE. AND YOU’RE DOING IT, AND THEN YOU FINISH AND YOU’RE LIKE, OH, MY GOSH. THIS WAS SO FUN. I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN.>>A BIG COMPONENT OF THE FESTIVAL AND SUCCESSFUL RACE IS WHO IS DRIVING THESE BOATS. AND FOR US WE’RE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE A GROUP THAT’S STEPPED UP TO LEARN HOW TO DO THAT. IT’S BUENA VISTA SKI PATROL. LET’S GO. ARE YOU READY?>>YES.>>ON THE BOAT. LET’S GO. SO WE KNOW WHO IS IN THE CENTER. THEY LOAD FIRST. DON’T GET PUSHY. DON’T GET PUSHY. AND SO THEY ARE OUR STEERS PEOPLE AS THEY’RE CALLED. AND IT’S A LARGE UNDERTAKING FOR THEM, BUT TURNS OUT TO BE A VERY GOOD FUNDRAISER AND A FABULOUS PARTNERSHIP. WE HAVE THREE SIMPLE RULES. RULE NUMBER ONE IS DON’T LOSE YOUR STEERSMAN. OKAY. RULE NUMBER TWO IS REMEMBER RULE NUMBER ONE. AND RULE NUMBER THREE, IF YOU LOSE YOUR PADDLE, JUST JUMP OUT YOU’RE DEAD WEIGHT. THEY DOVE IN, WE THOUGHT WE NEED LOCAL TALENT, SOME PEOPLE THAT ARE VERY ENGAGED AND WILLING TO DO THAT JOB, VERY KEY JOB OF STEERING THE 40-FOOT LONG BOATS DOWN THE WATER WITH 20 SOME PEOPLE IN THEM. OKAY. I WANT RIGHT SIDE ONLY THE BACK PADDLE. RIGHT SIDE ONLY, BACK PADDLE. RIGHT SIDE ONLY.>>SO THE BUENA VISTA SKI PATROL ON THEIR OWN ACCORD THEY WENT TO DULUTH. THEY MET WITH THE FOLKS AT THE DULUTH FESTIVAL. THEY DO THE SAME FUNCTION THERE.>>ARE YOU READY TO START COUNTING.>>I GUESS.>>JUST A NICE, EASY START. WE’RE NOT DOING A PRACTICE START. I’LL SAY ATTENTION, PADDLES UP>>1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8. LET IT RIDE.>>BUENA VISTA SKI PATROL FOLKS WENT OVER THERE AND GOT TRAINED ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. THEN THEY CAME BACK AND THEY’VE TRAINED OTHER FOLKS IN THEIR GROUP. SO THEY HAVE A LARGE, YOU KNOW 20 TO 30 PEOPLE WITH THE SKI PATROL THAT ARE ACTIVELY OUT HERE SOME WAY, WHETHER THEY’RE STEERING OR ORGANIZING. THEY’RE A VERY BIG PART. OF COURSE, THEY’RE DOING THE PRACTICES ALL WEEK LONG. THEY’RE DOING THE RACES ALL DAY SATURDAY. AND A LOT OF OTHER THINGS. SO I THINK THEY REALLY ENJOY IT. THEY’RE VERY GOOD AT IT. THEY’RE GREAT WITH THE PEOPLE THAT THEY WORK WITH. YOU KNOW, THOSE PADDLERS AND DRUMMERS THAT ARE LEARNING THE ROPES. THEY DO A VERY GOOD JOB.>>ARE YOU READY TO DO OUR PRACTICE START? ARE YOU OKAY? A PRACTICE START. IT’S GOING TO BE THE SAME THING BUT I’M GOING TO SAY STABILIZE THE BOAT AND HORN, THAT’S ONE. WHEN I SAY ATTENTION, SIT UP YOUR HIP, YOUR OUTSIDE HIP IS RIGHT UP TIGHT AGAINST THE OUTSIDE OF THE BOAT. AND WHEN YOUR PADDLE GOES UP, YOU WANT THAT AS STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN AS IT CAN. WHEN IT GOES IN THE WATER, YOU WANT IT AT THE PERSON’S HIP IN FRONT OF YOU. THAT’S WHEN THE HORN GOES. I’M GOING TO SAY HORN, THAT’S ONE AND WE GO. ARE YOU READY? ARE YOU READY?>>SURE.>>OKAY. ATTENTION. SIT UP. PADDLES UP. PULL THE BOAT. HORN.>>THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE.>>LET IT RIDE. LET IT RIDE. OKAY. ATTENTION. PADDLES UP. STABILIZE THE BOAT. I ALWAYS WANTED TO JUST WAIT AND SEE WHAT EVERYBODY DOES. OKAY. STABILIZE THE BOAT. HORN.>>3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 –>>TAKING ON A LITTLE WATER. HOPE IT’S NOT TOO MUCH. I HOPE THEY’RE THERE TO PULL US OUT. KEEP SMILING AND WAVE.>>PADDLES UP. ROW. ROW. ROW. GET UP. ROW. ROW. ROW. ROW. ROW. ROW.>FLQK.mBM5>>OH, WELL, WE ENCOUNTERED A LITTLE BIT OF WEATHER THERE. WE HAVEN’T SEEN THAT TOO MANY TIMES IN THE HISTORY OF THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. THAT’S FOR SURE. BUT SUSTAINED WINDS OF 50 60 MILES AN HOUR WREAKED A LITTLE HAVOC. SO WE ARE WAITING FOR THE RAIN TO CLEAR. IT LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER 15 MINUTES AND THE CLEANUP WILL BEGIN IN EARNEST. THE PLANNING COMMITTEE RUNNING OUT IN THE MIDST OF THOSE 60-MILE AN HOUR WINDS TO SAVE OUR KIDS’ TENT, WHICH HAD BEEN LIFTED OFF ITS BOARINGS AND THROWN ABOUT 70 YARDS INTO THE LAKE. AND THEY WENT INTO THE LAKE AFTER IT. I THINK MOST OF THE TEAMS ARE RESILIENT, AS IS THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL AS A WHOLE. YOU HAVE TO BE KIND OF A RESILIENT PERSON TO PARTAKE IN THIS KIND OF A FESTIVAL. AND EVERYBODY KNOWS YOU CAN’T CONTROL THE WEATHER. SO I THINK YOU KNOW WE’LL RIDE ABOVE IT. WE SEE LESS ATTENDANCE TONIGHT. WE’RE HOPING TO STILL HAVE THE PARADE OF TEAMS, WHICH IS SUCH A WONDERFUL PART OF THIS EVENT. OBVIOUSLY A LITTLE DAMPERRED BY THE WEATHER. WE’RE NOT SURE HOW MANY TEAMS WILL BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE. BUT WE’LL PLAY IT BY EAR AND DO WHAT WE CAN TO MAKE THIS THING GO.>>A LOT OF WEATHER DAMAGE. THE VILLAGES ARE SQUASHED. BUT EVERYBODY IS PICKING UP AND THEY REBUILD AND I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT FESTIVAL NO MATTER WHAT.>>WHEN THEY LOOKED AT EACH OTHER, WE WERE THE LITTLEST WOMEN IN THE TENT. WE BETTER HOLD IT IT DOWN. THE WIND GOT STRONGER AND STRONGER. AND THERE WERE THINGS FLYING FROM THE OTHER TENTS. LIKE THINGS FLYING AND HITTING US.>>NEXT DOOR CAME IN AND SMACKED AGAINST THE LEG OF OUR TENT AND WE COULD TELL IT WAS TOTALLY BROKEN. THEN THE HAIL CAME. AND WE WERE JUST HANGING FROM THE INSIDE, HOLDING IT. LITERALLY HOLDING DOWN THE FORT. BECAUSE NOW WE HAD HAIL. WE KNEW THAT AFTER HAIL, THE SUN WILL COME OUT. SO WE WERE PRETTY MUCH ALMOST DONE. WE WERE JUST GLAD WE WERE ALL STILL TOGETHER.>>SHE WAS A BIG STORM. SHE WAS A REALLY BIG STORM. OH, YEAH. WE WERE HERE. WE WERE HERE. IT WAS A NASTY ONE. IT WAS A NASTY ONE. THERE WAS DIME-SIZED HAIL. DIME-SIZED HAIL. CANOPIES WERE BLOWING, SMACKING TREES AND TELEPHONE POLES. IT WAS NASTY. WE ARE WITH THE WATER-SOAKED NERDS. AND WE’RE LIVING UP TO THAT REPUTATION RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE IT IS WATER SOAKED RIGHT NOW. WE ARE WATER SOAKED. WE WERE LUCKY TO SURVIVE. WE WERE. IT WAS TOUCH AND GO THERE FOR A WHILE. IT REALLY WAS.>>ACCORDING TO CHINESE LEGEND THE STORY OF THE DRAGON BOAT’S ORIGIN BEGAN WITH THE MAN QU YUEN. HE WAS A COURT OFFICIAL AND A POET, UNHAPPY WITH AN IRRESPONSIBLE KING. AFTER CRITICIZING THE KING, HE WAS EXILED, BUT IN PROTEST HE JUMPED IN THE RIVER AND DROWNED HIMSELF. THE CHINESE PEOPLE REGARDED QU YUEN WITH GREAT LOVE, SO THEY RACED IN DRAGON BOATS TO RECOVER HIS BODY, THROWING RICE IN THE RIVER TO PREVENT THE FISH FROM FEEDING ON HIS REMAINS. TO THIS DAY QU YUEN STORY IS CELEBRATED WORLDWIDE IN THE FORM OF DRAGON BOAT RACES.>>MY NAME IS DAN HAMILTON. I’M THE DEAN OF THE LANGUAGE VILLAGES. GERMAN LANGUAGE PROGRAM FOR YOUNG AMERICANS, IMMERSION PROGRAM. GERMAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE JUST OUTSIDE OF BEMIDJI. WE’RE PART OF THE CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES, 15 DIFFERENT LANGUAGES. KIDS FROM ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES COME TO THIS PART OF MINNESOTA EVERY SUMMER, AND WE’RE WE’RE PARTICIPATING IN THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. OUR CHINESE VILLAGE IS LEADING THE PARADE WITH ITS OWN DRAGON. OUR JAPANESE VILLAGE IS DOING THE JAPANESE DRUMMING AS PART OF THE CEREMONY, AND THE GERMAN VILLAGE IS THE DRAGON BOAT TEAM. AND WE’RE GOING TO DO WELL. THE DRAGON BOAT RACES ARE ORIGINALLY FROM CHINA. SO IT’S INHERENTLY A CULTURAL FESTIVAL, A CROSS-CULTURAL ENCOUNTER. OUR CHINESE VILLAGE HAS BEEN THE TEAM FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS. THEY’RE LEADING THE PARADE WITH THEIR OWN DRAGON. IF YOU GO TO IT CHINA, THE DRAGON IS THE BIG SYMBOL OF MANY PARADES AND MANY SORT OF FESTIVALS. AND THE CHINESE VILLAGE HAS FOR MANY, MANY YEARS MADE THEIR OWN DRAGON. SO WHENEVER THEY COME TO OUR FESTIVALS, THEY ALWAYS BRING ALONG THEIR DRAGON, WHICH MAKES ITS WAY, WEAVES ITS WAY ALONG THE PATH. BUT THIS YEAR THE GERMAN VILLAGE IS THE TEAM, OUT PILOTING THE BOAT AND RACING FOR THE WHOLE VILLAGES. BUT IT’S THE CULTURAL ASPECT THAT ATTRACTS TO US THIS FESTIVAL. PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA COMING HERE, SCORES AND SCORES OF TEAMS. WE WANT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE THAT. CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES IS NORTH AMERICA’S PREMIERE IMMERSION PROGRAM IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE FOR YOUNG AMERICANS. ALTHOUGH FAMILY DAY CAMPS FOR KIDS WHO OUT AND LIVE IN ANOTHER WORLD OF A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE. IT’S A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR KIDS TO SIMPLY GET BEYOND THEIR OWN DAILY EXPERIENCE AND EXPLORE MORE ABOUT THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD. IT’S A GREAT PARTNERSHIP WITH THE TOWN OF BEMIDJI AND WITH DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL ORGANIZERS. WHAT BETTER WAY TO EXPERIENCE NORTHERN MINNESOTA THAN THROUGH THIS CROSS-CULTURAL EXCHANGE. KIDS COME FROM ALL OVER NORTH AMERICA TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR LANGUAGE VILLAGES. AND HERE’S AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP JUST ONE STEP BEYOND OUR VILLAGE, AND COME TO THIS FESTIVAL.>>THE DRAGON LEADS THE PARADE FOLLOWED BY THE TEAMS, AS THEY MARCH THROUGH THE TEAM VILLAGE DOWN TO THE WATERFRONT WHERE THEY ARE ANNOUNCED TO THE CROWD.>>ANOTHER ONE OF OUR TEAMS.>>WHO ARE YOU?>>RADIO WAVE. N.P.R. RADIO WAVES.>>MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO. YOU HAVE TO GO IN THE MEDIA CUPS.>>WE’RE WAITING ON, TOO. THIS IS THE YEAR I CAN.>>THIS IS THE YEAR. 2011. GOOD LUCK TOMORROW. MPR RADIO WAVES. ALL RIGHT!>>THE OPENING CEREMONY BEGINS WITH THE SPECIAL CULTURAL PRESENTATION, PERFORMED BY STUDENTS OF CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES. THE OPENING CEREMONY CONCLUDES WITH THE WAKING OF THE DRAGON.>>IT’S TIME TO GET THIS PARTY STARTED. THE 6th ANNUAL LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. IT’S OFFICIALLY STARTED WITH THE WAKING OF THE DRAGON. AND HERE TO DO THAT IS THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF BEMIDJI, DAVE LARSON. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU. THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING TO THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY. IT’S MY PRIVILEGE TO WAKE THE DRAGON. AND I WANT TO, FIRST OF ALL THANK EVERY ORGANIZATION, EVERY PERSON WHO HAS PUT SO MUCH WORK INTO THIS EVENT. IT’S GOING TO BE A GREAT TIME. THE WEATHER IS GOING TO BE PERFECT. I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THAT. NOW WE’RE GOING TO WAKE THE DRAGON.>>LET’S GET A ROUND OF APPLAUSE GOING FOR THE WAKING OF THE DRAGON. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU, MAYOR. WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT. THANKS FOR COMING DOWN AND HELPING US WAKE THE DRAGON.>>BECAUSE OF THE FESTIVAL’S TIES WITH CONCORDIA LANGUAGE VILLAGES, THE FESTIVAL HAS AN AUTHENTIC INTERNATIONAL FLARE TO IT.>>WE WERE SO HAPPY TO SEE THE CEREMONY. THE MAYOR AND ALL. IT’S REALLY, REALLY AWE TENTIC.>>EVERYTHING IS VERY AUTHENTIC, AND WE ARE VERY IMPRESSED. IT’S NOT JUST A POPULAR DRAGON BOAT RACE. IT ALSO HAS THE STEEP ROOTS IN CHINESE CULTURES. AND THE STORY ABOUT DRAGONS DRAGONS ARE SUPPOSE TO BRING THE RAIN. SO IT FITS PERFECTLY WITH THE WEATHER HERE AT BEMIDJI TODAY AND MAYBE TOMORROW.>>AFTER THE RAIN IT WILL BE ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL DAY I THINK. IT’S MORE, YOU KNOW, MEANINGFUL.>>YEAH. GOOD FOR THE WHOLE EVENT WITH THIS KIND OF WEATHER. THE CEREMONY, IT WAS GREAT.>>SO, YOU KNOW, CONCORDIA LIKES TO GIVE AN EXAMPLE FOR MULTI-GLOBAL EDUCATION AND THE CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING. FOR BEMIDJI IT’S ALSO THE GOOD REPRESENTATION OF THIS. IT’S THE WHOLE TOWN. IT’S NOT JUST BEMIDJI, IT’S THE WHOLE TOWN, THE WHOLE AREA.>>YEAH, WE’RE FROM CHINA. AND IT’S OUR HONOR TO KNOW YOU HAVE SUCH A FESTIVAL IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CITY.>>VERY GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. YEAH.>>THE FIRST RACE TOMORROW IS AT 8:15 A.M. AND AGAIN THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PERSEVERING THROUGH THE WEATHER TONIGHT. AND WE WELCOME YOU TO THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL AND WE WISH YOU ALL GREAT LUCK TOMORROW. THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT. GOOD LUCK TOMORROW, EVERYBODY. PADDLES UP. >>WELCOME TO THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. IT IS RACE DAY FOR THE 6th ANNUAL LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL.>>WE HAVE A GREAT START. I HOPE WE START WELL. AFTER THAT IT’S GOING TO BE A MATTER OF SUCKING IT UP WHEN IT BURNS. IT’S WORKING. BURN IT HARDER. TWO MINUTES OUT OF YOUR LIFE. YOU CAN DO IT.>>AND TO THE FINISH LINE THEY COME. IT LOOKS LIKE IT’S GOING TO BE THE PADDLE OF THE FAMILY HOLDING ON TO WIN HEAT ONE. FOLLOWED BY THE FIREBALLS, THE BUENA SAILORS AND THE SHOUGH FAMILY IN YOUR FIRST RACE AND WE’RE OFFICIALLY UNDERWAY AT THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. WHOEVER IS AHEAD OF THE DRAGON COMES FIRST, AND WINS THE HEAT OBVIOUSLY. AND IT IS THE COMBINATION OF THE TWO TIMES TO DETERMINE WHETHER YOU RANK AND IF YOU WILL BE THE GOLD, SILVER OR BRONZE CHAMPIONSHIP. TOP FOUR TEAMS WITH THE LOWEST COMBINED TIMES WILL BE IN THE GOLD DIVISION FINALS.>>SILVER AND BRONZE DIVISION FINALISTS ARE DETERMINED BY COMBINED TIMES IN A RANKING SYSTEM AND ARE RACED AT THE END OF THE DAY. THE CUPS ARE GIVEN TO ORGANIZATIONS THAT REPRESENT EDUCATION, BANKING, HELP, MEDIA CIVIC AND CONTRACTORS. THE CUP WINNERS ARE DETERMINED BY THE TOP TIME OF THE FIRST RACE OF THE DAY IN EACH DIVISION. OTHER AWARDS THAT ARE GIVEN INCLUDE BEST TEAM APPEARANCE BEST TEAM VILLAGE AND THE BEST TEAM NAME. THE TEAM FROM GREAT RIVER DENTISTRY HAS TAKEN HOME THE BEST TEAM NAME TITLE IN THE PAST.>>WELL, THE FIRST YEAR OF THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL WE WERE OUT OF TOWN THAT YEAR. SO WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED EVERY YEAR SINCE THEN, AND WE ARE WITH GREAT RIVER DENTISTRY CHICKEN SHIP.>>WELL, WE CAME UP WITH THE NAME BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT WE NEEDED TO COME UP WITH A LOOK. WE HEARD SO MANY STORIES FROM PEOPLE IN THE PAST. AND SO WE WERE FLIPPING THROUGH A CATALOG. AND WE FOUND IN THESE GREAT CHICKEN HATS. AND SO DOUG SAID, WELL, WE COULD BE THE CHICKEN SHIP. AND SO THAT’S HOW IT CAME ABOUT.>>AND THE INSPIRATION FROM THAT ACTUALLY CAME FROM KIM’S DAD WHO GAVE US A PONTOON BOAT THAT HE REFERRED TO AS THE CHICKEN SHIP. DENTISTRY SOMETIMES REFERS TO CATERING TO COWARDS, SO WE THOUGHT WE’D TWIST THAT A LITTLE BIT AND CATER TO THE CHICKENS.>>I THINK IT’S SO FUN TO HAVE JUST THIS VARIETY OF PEOPLE COME THROUGH ON YOUR TEAM. YOU KNOW, OUR TEAM HAS BEEN DIFFERENT EVERY YEAR, WHICH IS SO FUN. MAYBE PEOPLE WOULDN’T HAVE A CHANCE TO PADDLE WITH US, IT’S FUN OPPORTUNITY TO TRY TO WORK TOGETHER.>>WE DO HAVE MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE WHO COME BACK TO ROOST WITH US EACH YEAR. PROBABLY THE FESTIVAL IS TO SEE DIFFERENT GROUPS, INSPIRATION THE WAY THEY DESIGN THEIR VILLAGES, KIND OF THE FUN THAT THEY HAVE. AND IT IS GREAT CAMARADERIE. WE ENJOY IT VERY MUCH.>>WHILE TEAM CHICKEN SHIP HAS CLAIMED THE PRIZE FOR BEST TEAM NAME, THE WOOLLY IRISHMEN STRIVE TO MAINTAIN EXCELLENCE. BEFORE THE FIRST RACE, TEAM CAPTAINS DISCUSS IT.>>WHEN IT’S START TIME, THEY WANT THE PADDLES IN THE WATER THAT MEANS 1 INCH IN THE WATER. YOU’RE SITTING AT YOUR PERSON’S HIP, THEIR THIGH IN FRONT OF YOU. ONE INCH IN THE WATER TO HOLD THE BOAT.>>IT’S GOING TO BE RACERS ALL HOLDING YOUR POSITION. RACERS READY? THEN THEY HEAR THE AIR HORN.>>YEP. THERE’S NOT ANY PADDLES. THERE’S NOTHING. IT’S JUST HOLD, HOLD, HOLD. GO. IT CAN COME FAST. DURING THOSE FIRST TEN VERY IMPORTANT TO WATCH ANDRA AND CHAR. WHAPTION YOU GET YOUR ADRENALINE GOING, AND YOU ARE GOING TO WANT TO DO THIS. IT’S SO IMPORTANT THE FIRST 10 TO KEEP IT NICE AND RHYTHM AND GET US UP ON PLANE. SO ONCE WE GET UP ON PLANE WE’LL BE LISTENING TO YOU KEEP IT GOING. AS WE GET TOWARDS THE END, WITH HE TALKED ABOUT POWERING UP. POWERING UP DOES NOT CHANGE OUR CADENCE. IT CHANGES HOW DEEP THE PADDLE GOES IN THE WATER. YOU ARE REACHING AND PULLING, YOU ARE GETTING THAT DEEP IN THE WATER AND PULLING.>>RIGHT NOW WE’RE JUST TRYING TO GET EVERYBODY ALL TOGETHER. GET THEM ALL THINKING ON THE SAME LINES. CALM AND COLLECT. KEEP THE SAME GAME PLAN THAT WE’VE HAD FOR THE WEEK OF PRACTICE. FIRST RACE IS USUALLY ALWAYS THE BEST RACE. THIS MORNING THE WEATHER CONDITIONS, I THINK IT WILL DEFINITELY BE THE BEST RACE OF THE DAY. THE WEATHER THIS AFTERNOON IS SUPPOSE TO GET A LITTLE BIT MORE WINDY. SO IT WILL MAKE THINGS A LITTLE BIT MORE DIFFICULT. THE FIRST RACE SHOULD BE GOOD. >>ONE OF THE THINGS I’M MOST PROUD OF IS THE IMPACT THAT THIS FESTIVAL HAS ON THE COMMUNITY. AND IT IT DOES THAT IN A NUMBER OF WAYS. THE MOST OBVIOUS WAY YOU HAVE THE BEMIDJI ROTARY CLUB, WHO DOES A LOT OF GOOD THINGS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY AND THE REGION AND INTERNATIONALLY. AND YOU HAVE THE BEMIDJI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND THEIR WORK TO SUPPORT THE LOCAL BUSINESS COMMUNITY. SO AT THE SURFACE YOU HAVE TWO GREAT ORGANIZATIONS, NON-PROFITS THAT ARE WORKING VERY HARD AND BENEFIT BY THIS FESTIVAL IN WHAT THEY CAN DO FOR THE COMMUNITY ALL YEAR ROUND. BUT WHAT MAYBE ISN’T SO OBVIOUS IS THERE A WHOLE NUMBER OF GROUPS THAT WE ENLIST THEIR HELP AND THEY VOLUNTEER AND WE WILL PROVIDE A DONATION TO THESE GROUPS TO HELP US PUT THE FESTIVAL ON. SO, YOU KNOW, WE HAD THE SKI PETROLEUM. WE TALKED ABOUT. SO A GREAT FUNDRAISER FOR THEM. WE HAVE DANCE GROUPS AND WE HAVE BOY SCOUTS AND WE HAVE SPORTING CLUBS AND, YOU KNOW, MANY, MANY GROUPS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY THAT ULTIMATELY WILL FINANCIALLY BENEFIT THROUGH OUR DONATIONS TO THEM. BUT REALLY PROVIDE US A VALUABLE SERVICE AND IT’S ONLY BECAUSE WE HAVE ALL OF THESE GROUPS THAT COLLECTIVELY WE CAN PUT THIS ON.>>AROUND THE WORLD, A COMMON PARTNERSHIP AMONG DRAGON BOAT FESTIVALS IS WITH VARIOUS CANCER SOCIETIES. IN 2011, THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL PARTNERED WITH THE BELTRAMI COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE TEAM TOO CARRY ON THE TRADITION.>>WE’RE GETTING A NEW PARTNERSHIP THIS YEAR WITH THE BELTRAMI COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE. THIS, I BELIEVE IS THEIR SURVIVOR TEAM, CORRECT?>>SURVIVORS FROM THE BELTRAMI COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE. SO EVERYBODY ON THE BOAT TOMORROW WILL BE A CANCER SURVIVOR.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>LET’S HEAR IT FROM THE BELTRAMI COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE TEAM.>>WE ARE HERE TO HELP ALL THE SURVIVORS CELEBRATE MORE BIRTHDAYS. WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT DONATED CUB CAKES FOR US TO GIVE TO THE SURVIVORS AND ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS THEM. SO WE ARE JUST OUT HERE TO HAVE FUN AND PROMOTE SOME AWARENESS FOR CANCER. AND WE HAVE A TEAM THAT RACED THIS MORNING. THEY’RE GOING TO RACE AGAIN THIS AFTERNOON. THEY’RE ALL SURVIVORS FROM OUR COUNTY, BELTRAMI COUNTY.>>THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL TEAMS MADE UP OF ONLY CANCER SURVIVORS, WHO TRAVEL TO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVALS THROUGHOUT THE REGION.>>WELL, OUR TEAM IS BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR DRAGON BOAT TEAM. WE WERE FORMED IN 1998. SOON AFTER A CANADIAN RESEARCHER IN VANCOUVER FOUND THAT DRAGON BOATING WAS A VERY SAFE SPORT FOR WOMEN WHO HAD HAD BREAST CANCER. THAT IT WAS VERY GOOD TREATMENT FOR IMPLICATIONS OF SURGERY THAT MANY BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR GOES TO. OUR TEAM WAS FORMED IN 1998, AND WE’VE BEEN PADDLING SINCE THEN. AND THERE ARE BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR DRAGON BOAT TEAMS ALL OVER THE U.S., CANADA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD. THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS, WHERE WOMEN FROM EUROPE, ASIA AND THE U.S. AND CANADA GET TOGETHER AND COMPETE WITH EACH OTHER. WELL, OUR TEAM DOES FOUR FESTIVALS IN A YEAR. WE HAVE TWO IN MANITOBA AND WE TRAVEL FOR TWO. THIS IS ONE OF THE ONES THAT WE TRAVEL. THIS IS OUR FIRST YEAR IN BEMIDJI. BUT WE ARE REALLY HOPING TO COME BACK. WE HAVE REALLY ENJOYED IT AND WE HAVE FELT VERY WELCOMED HERE. WE WANT TO REALLY SHOW THERE’S LIFE AFTER BREAST CANCER AND WE DO THAT BY LIVING, TRYING TO LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE AND A >>THE ROSE CEREMONY IS ONE OF OUR SYMBOLIC GESTURES TO REMEMBER ALL WOMEN THAT HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY BREAST CANCER. THAT IS THE PINK ROSE. AND THEN WE DO CARRY A WHITE ROSE FOR OUR TEAM MEMBERS THAT HAVE LOST THE BATTLE TO BREAST CANCER. SO IT IS SORT OF AN EXPERIENCE TO LINK US TO OUR MISSION AND WHY WE ARE HERE TOGETHER.>>THE RODE CEREMONY. EACH MEMBER OF THE TEAM CARRIES A ROSE WITH THEM, PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR OWN FIGHT WITH BREAST CANCER AND TO KEEP ON PADDLING UNTIL THE RACE FOR A CURE IS WON. AMONG THE PINK ROSES THERE’S ONE WHITE ONE, THIS IS A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO A TEAM MEMBER WHO HAD A DIFFERENT JOURNEY THIS YEAR. THEY JOIN THE FAMILIES IN THIS ROSE CEREMONY. THEY EACH HAVE A YELLOW ROSE, IN AN EFFORT TO RAISE CANCER AWARENESS AND PREVENTION. ALL FOUR TEAMS INVITE ALL SPECTATORS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEMORIAL CEREMONY WITH A MOMENT OF SILENCE. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE]>>THAT CONCLUDES THE MORNING SESSION OF THE 6th ANNUAL LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE A QUICK BREAK FOR LUNCH. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO CHECK THE REVISED SCHEDULE ON THE SCOREBOARD. AGAIN WE’RE STARTING ONLY AT 12:30. WE’RE SHORTENING THE COURSE. AND WE’LL HAVE RACES EVERY NINE MINUTES. IT WILL BE PRETTY RAPID FIRE. AS FAST AS WE CAN MAKE IT.>>TEAMS COMPETE IN TWO RACES. ONE RACE IS COMPLETED DURING THE MORNING SESSION, WHILE THE OTHER IS COMPLETED IN THE AFTERNOON. THE COMBINED TIMES QUALIFY THEM FOR GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE DIVISION FINALS AT THE END OF THE DAY. THE YOUNGEST PADDLER AT THE DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL FOUND OUT THAT PADDLING WAS A LOT HARDER THAN WATCHING FROM THE SHORELINE.>>WHEN YOU’RE JUST WATCHING, YOU DON’T THINK IT’S AS HARD. YOU’RE JUST LIKE, OH, THEY’RE SO CLOSE. JUST GO A LITTLE BIT FASTER. ONLY WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY IN THE BOAT, YOU’RE LIKE OH, MY GOSH. I CAN’T GO ANY FASTER. HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS? IT WAS AMAZING. IT WAS LIKED LONGEST MINUTE OF MY LIFE OR TWO MINUTES. IT’S HARDER THAN YOU THINK. LIKE WHEN YOU’RE OUT THERE PADDLING, YOU’RE JUST LIKE KEEP GOING. KEEP GOING. KEEP GOING. AND LIKE YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, AND THAT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS TO STAY IN SYNCH WITH THE REST OF YOUR GROUP.>>TRYING TO HOLD ONTO THE LEAD. AND THEN IT’S ONE OR TWO VERY CLOSE. HARD TO TELL THERE. HE TOOK THIRD AND FOURTH. BUT GREAT RACE THERE.>>LANE NUMBER ONE, THE DRAGONS GET HOOKED FOR LIFE. LANE TWO THE BLAZING PADDLES, AND YOU HAVE GOT THE DRAGON TAIL WORKING FOR THEM HERE THIS MORNING.>>SECOND PLACE, IT’S GOING TO BE CLOSE.>>WOW. THAT’S THE CLOSEST RACE OF THE DAY SO FAR.>>TEAMS GAIN VALUABLE KNOWLEDGE FROM THEIR MORNING RACE SESSION THAT HELPS TO MAKE ADJUSTMENTS FOR THE SECOND RACE OF THE DAY. OUR TIME WAS 2:10, SOMETHING. WE WERE REAL HAPPY WITH THE START. AND THE FIRST HALF OF THE RACE. WE WERE RUNNING PRETTY SMOOTH. GOT OUT OF THE WATER FAST RUNNING SMOOTH. AND WHEN WE TRIED TO POWER UP TOWARDS THE END, WE KIND OF GOT OUT OF SYNCH A LITTLE BIT. GOT OUT OF RHYTHM, WHICH I THINK SLOWED US DOWN A LITTLE BIT. BUT OVERALL WE’RE VERY FORTUNATE TO TURN IN THAT TIME, WHICH AT THE TIME WAS THE FASTEST OF THE DAY.>>BOATS NUMBER FOUR IS THE WOOLLY IRISHMEN.>>YEAH, WE HAVE SOME THINGS WE’RE GOING TO DO DIFFERENT. INSTEAD OF POWERING UP AT THE END, SEEING IT’S A SHORTER RACE THE SECOND RACE WE’RE JUST GOING TO CONTINUE AT A LITTLE BIT HIGHER RACE, RHYTHM THE WHOLE WAY.>>WE DID WHAT WE WANTED TO DO. WE WANTED TO GET OFF TO A GOOD START. WE HAD A GOOD START AND JUST TOOK IT FROM THERE, LIKE PRACTICE. OUR GOAL RIGHT NOW IS JUST TO GET IN THE FINALS. I MEAN, THERE’S SOME GOOD TEAMS HERE. THERE’S VERY GOOD TEAMS HERE, AND WE ARE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE QUITE A GOOD TIME THE FIRST ROUND.>>THERE’S SUCH HIGH ENERGY THROUGHOUT THE DAY FROM BEGINNING TO END. THERE REALLY ISN’T A WANING, OH THIS IS GETTING TIRING. LOOK AT EVERYBODY. EVERYBODY IS EXHAUSTED AND READY TO GO HOME. THE ENERGY LEVEL IS THERE CONSISTENTLY THROUGHOUT THE DAY. OF COURSE IT BUILDS UP UNTIL THE GOLD FINALS RACE AT THE END OF THE DAY WHERE IT’S PALPABLE. THE CROWD IS INTO IT. OBVIOUSLY THE TEAMS ARE INTO IT.>>RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT THIS TODAY IS OUR MOST EXCITING TIME. I THINK.>>YEAH. COMING INTO THE FINALS AND WE’RE REALLY CLOSE. THE A-TEAM AND HYDRAHEAD ARE VERY SIMILAR IN ABILITIES. SO IT WILL BE VERY FUN TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.>>THE HIGH DRA HEADS WERE THE ONLY LOOK TEAM VYING FOR THE GOLD CHAMPIONSHIP AS THEY FACED ALL THE CANADIAN FOES IN THE FINAL RACE. THE PROSTATE PADDLERS, THE RIVER CITY DRAGONS AND THEIR RIVALS LANE ONE THE RIVER CITY DRAGONS. LANE 3 THE HIGH DRA HEADS. THEY SHARE THE LEAD. RIVER CITY DRAGONS IN LANE 1. RIGHT NOW THE RIVER CITY DRAGON DRAGONS. THEY WILL HEAD FOR THE FINISH LINE. LET’S HEAR SOME CHEERING IN THE DRAGON STANDS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] THIS IS FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP. RIGHT HERE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>WOW! WOW! , WHAT A RACE! HERE THEY COME BACK TO SHOW. IN BOAT NUMBER ONE, THE RIVER CITY DRAGONS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>THE FOUR TEAMS WERE SEPARATED BY ONLY 53/100. YET IN THE END IT WAS THE RIVER CITY DRAGONS THAT CAME UP VICTORIOUS.>>WE’LL HAND OUT ALL THE HARD — WE WILL HAND OUT ALL THE >>WAY TO GO!>>THE RESULTS ARE IN. WE’LL WAIT FOR ALL THE TEAMS TO GET THROUGH.>>THE 2011 LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL WAS CERTAINLY A SUCCESS. THOSE IN ATTENDANCE WOULD NOT LET THE FRIDAY EVENING STORM DAMPER THEIR EXPERIENCE. THEIR DEDICATION WAS REWARDED BY A FUN FILLED DAY OF EXCITING RACES THAT PEOPLE COME TO EXPECT FROM THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON >>WE THOUGHT WE HAVE SUCH A NICE WATERFRONT HERE. THIS COULD BE SOMETHING REALLY BIG FOR OUR DOWNTOWN COMMUNITY AND TIE INTO OTHER EVENTS HERE. AND CONVINCE ENOUGH PEOPLE ENOUGH SPONSORS TO GIVE IT A TRY HERE SIX YEARS AGO. AND IT’S JUST REALLY TAKEN OFF [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>IT’S AN INCREDIBLE EVENT. IT’S VERY UNIQUE TO HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE IN ONE LOCATION GETTING — I MEAN, IT’S EVERYBODY THERE’S NOT A BAD COMMENT ABOUT THE EVENT. FROM START TO FINISH, EVERYBODY ENJOYS IT, AND IT’S A GREAT EVENT FOR TOWN AND HOPEFULLY IT >>WE COME HERE TO HAVE A GOOD TIME AND COMPETE. THE COMPETITION IS GOOD. THE BETTER THE COMPETITION, THE MORE FUN IT IS. WE GO HARD AND AS LONG AS WE RACE HARD AND HAVE A GOOD COMPETITION, WE HAVE FUN AND THE PEOPLE RACE REALLY WELL HERE. I REALLY LIKE THE FESTIVAL BECAUSE THE COMMUNITY COMES OUT SO WELL AND PUTS OUT TENTS AND THEY MAKE THE PLACE — IT’S THE WHOLE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT. THEY MAKE US FEEL WELCOME AS >>WONDERFUL TIME. A CHANCE TO GET TOGETHER. IT’S A LOT OF FUN. IT’S A GREAT TIME. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>IT’S A NICE THING FOR A FAMILY PARTICIPATION AND FAMILY ORIENTATION AND MEETING ALL YOUR FRIENDS OUT HERE. BUT IT’S A WONDERFUL THING FOR THE COMMUNITY. >>I JUST HOPE THIS DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL CONTINUES. SO I THINK IT’S A LOT OF FUN FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE. I THINK WHAT YOU HAVEN’T SEEN PEOPLE THAT DO THIS AND THEN THEY LOOK BEYOND THIS AND MAYBE THEY SAY I’LL TRY REGULAR >>WELL, I THINK THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL HAS REALLY MEANT A LOT TO THE BEMIDJI COMMUNITY. FROM COMMUNITY PRIDE OBVIOUSLY TO REGIONAL WIDE AWARENESS OF WHAT BEMIDJI HAS TO OFFER. AND THIS REALLY SHOWCASES THIS WATERFRONT, WHICH IS THE CROWN JEWEL OF OUR COMMUNITY. AND IT REALLY UTILIZES IT TO THE FULLEST. THE LAKE BEMIDJI WATERFRONT WAS MADE FOR THE LAKE BEMIDJI DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE TAKE GREAT PRIDE IN THIS FESTIVAL. SIX YEARS AGO A LOT OF THE QUESTIONS WERE, WHAT IS IT? I DON’T GET IT. I DON’T KNOW WHAT A DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL IS. TODAY I WANT TO BE A PART OF IT AND I CAN’T WAIT FOR IT TO GET [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>”PADDLES UP” IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE MINNESOTA ARTS AND CULTURAL HERITAGE FUND, AND THE CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY
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