April 2, 2014


For Immediate Release

Brittany Racca
(337) 365-1540

(888) 942-3742 

Iberia Parish Convention 

and Visitors Bureau

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Come see the Dragons this Saturday!

NEW IBERIA, La. --- Dragons aren't a myth anymore! The second annual Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival will take place in historic downtown New Iberia on April 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Guests and locals will be able to watch these 26 traditional Hong Kong style dragon boats race down the Bayou Teche as well as enjoy music, food and other family activities throughout the day.

"The festival is a family fun and team oriented festival aimed to bring out the competitive kid in everyone," said Wess Robinson, president of Iberia On Tap, the organization hosting the event. "From the costumes, the chants, the races, the dance offs and, of course, the incredible South Louisiana food, the Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival has something for everyone."

This year, the festival will feature two new events, the Burger Cook-Off Competition and the Kids Zone, which will include a fun jump, New Heights Gym kids gymnastics and various kids activities.

Dragon boat teams, consisting of 20 rowers, one drummer and alternates, will launch from the P.J. Allain Waterfront Development located at 109 N. Weeks St. for the 200 meter race. 

Two boats compete during the race. Each boat is led by a drummer who keeps the rowing rhythm for the team. Participants will have team names, and may have chants prepared to make the experience more enjoyable for all involved. 

The traditional Hong Kong drum sound will guide each team and fill the air with the vibe and excitement that only the Dragon Boat Festival can provide. This 2,300 year old Hong Kong tradition is guaranteed to bring about excitement, friendly competition and community spirit.

Tents set up in Bouligny Plaza and along Fulton Street will be the teams' headquarters. Participants will be able to prepare, rest and watch the other teams. On the day of the event, each team will have predetermined practice times where they can perfect their technique.

The Dragon Boat Champions will be announced during the awards ceremony at the Steamboat Pavilion following the completion of all the races.

"Participants and viewers will be able to enjoy the numerous races, music, food, beverages and other family friendly activities," Robinson added. "Whether participating in the race or simply viewing it and showing your support, there will be plenty of entertainment and excitement to keep you and your family busy."

The Acadiana Dragon Boat Festival is co-sponsored by Iberia On Tap and volunteers from the New Iberia Park and Recreation enhancement project. Proceeds will benefit Iberia On Tap's community engagement initiatives and the New Iberia Park and Recreation enhancement projects, both of which are aimed to improve New Iberia.

For more information contact Callie Borne or Angela Cestia at 337-352-2180, email, or visit or  

Background on Dragon Boat Racing:

Dragon boat racing dates back over 2000 years with 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. Dishonored, Qu Yuan threw himself into the torrents of the Milou River, but some local fishermen raced out to save him. They 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. Today, dragon boat racing is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. In 1991, the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) was formed and boasts over 100 member organizations in more than 40 countries. Within a relatively short period of time, backed by a strong sprint canoeing background, North America has emerged as an international dragon boat racing powerhouse, shaking the foundations of a sport that has historically been dominated by Asian countries.




The Iberia Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official parish marketing agency promoting New Iberia, Avery Island, Jefferson Island, Jeanerette, Loreauville and Delcambre as a destination. Marketing programs target leisure travelers, business travelers, media, entertainment industry, and the travel trade including group tour planners, meeting planners, sports planners and special event planners. The bureau operates a parish welcome center located at 2513 Hwy. 14 in New Iberia.


For more information on parish events and tourism assets, call the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau at 337-365-1540 or visit

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