Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races

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This is a recurring event and we're showing the details from its most recent past occurrence. We'll update this page with future event info as soon as we get it. Please check back!
June 10–11, 2023
Daily, 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
98 SW Naito Pkwy
Portland, OR 97204

The following description was submitted by the event organizer.

The Rose Festival is proud to host the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, an event that has been bringing an exciting Chinese tradition to Portland for more than two decades, beginning in 1989.

Held on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge, the races feature exciting four-team heats held every nine minutes. More than 80 different teams — local, national and international — compete in boats graciously provided through the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association.

This race involves around 45 teams, Women’s, Mixed, and High School, racing in the incredibly special traditional-style Dragon Boats from Taiwan. Each race has four teams compete by sprinting 500m down the Willamette River ending at the bowl in the South Hawthorne Waterfront Park, where their flag catcher reaches out from the dragon’s head to capture their flag. Saturday’s heats define the playoff bracket; Sunday is when they compete for their medals. The opening ceremony is Saturday, 8 a.m. June 10. Races run from 8:30 a.m. to around 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The awards ceremony takes place around 3:30 on Sunday. Enjoy Race weekend. There will be vendors and many exciting races for all to enjoy on the waterfront. 

The Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association (PKSCA), founded in 1987, has presented the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race annually since 1989. The mission of the Portland-Kaohsiung Sister City Association is to promote people-to-people exchanges of educational, artistic and cultural activities in accordance with the spirit of the Sister City International and to promote Portland and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to the world. The race is a celebrated and sanctioned part of the Portland Rose Festival. The PKSCA works with the Shu-Te High School in Kaohsiung, which participates in the annual Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade and has a Dragon Boat team with one of their older traditional-style Dragon Boats in the Starlight Parade.