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Dragon boats go head-to-head in Sunday fundraiser

Observer courtesy photo

Dragon boat races kick off at 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Burlington.

The 13th annual Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival and Races will take place Sunday at Burlington’s waterfront with Williston-based entrants the VBT Traveling Dragons and the NEFCU Navigators set to compete.

The festival is a fundraiser for cancer-related programs in Vermont and has raised about $2 million. Races run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Teams are comprised of 20 paddlers and a drummer, racing head to head in 41-foot long dragon boats over a 200-meter course. About 50 teams, including five breast cancer survivor teams, are registered to participate for a total of about 1,200 paddlers.

The event is free and open to the public with entertainment, food, prize drawings and raffles.

The event kicks off Saturday with a “Brewers Against Breast Cancer” dance party from 5-9 p.m.

Visit dragonheartvermont.org for more information.