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Dragon Boat Festival to benefit Vermont's Camp Ta-Kum-Ta

BURLINGTON - The annual Dragon Boat Races and Festival will return to Burlington's Waterfront Park Aug. 2.

Spectators are invited to witness the competition, color and pageantry as more than 2,000 racers paddle for glory.

Eighty-six Vermont community teams and 11 breast cancer survivor teams from across the U.S. and Canada as they compete in 300-meter sprint races to benefit Vermont's Camp Ta-Kum-Ta, a summer camp for kids with cancer, and Dragonheart Vermont.

Four Addison County dragon boat teams will be among the 86 teams racing for fun and fundraising at the festival. This year's area participants include:

•DR Power Equipment "DR Power Paddlers"

Team Captain: Craig Wolosinski, cwolosin@drpower.com

•Community Team "Draggins of Monkton"

Team Captain: Suzanne Bushey, borohill@gmavt.net.

•Goodrich Corporation "Winged Ladies of the Lake and Arthur"

Team Captain: Donna McIntyre, donna.mcintyre@goodrich.com.

•Goodrich Corporation "Sync or Swim"

Team Captain: Mary Rudd, mary.rudd@goodrich.com.

Races, food and festivities begin at 8 a.m. and last all day long. Each race features 6 lanes of colorful dragon boats carrying 21 paddlers each and will start every 12 minutes until the champion team is crowned in the final sprint for glory at 4:30 p.m.

It's an all-day celebration with lots of free fun for the whole family. Entertainment includes Burlington's Taiko Drummers, Sambatucada, Maiden Vermont and the Jeh Kulu Drummers. Bid high on a huge selection of silent auction items. Raffles, unique merchandise, children's crafts and fabulous food combine to create an exciting, fun filled day for all. At noon a traditional flower ceremony performed by the breast cancer survivor teams will honor the spirit of those who have died from breast cancer. At 1:15, a parade of dragons begins.

Camp Ta-Kum-Ta lost its home of 25 years in 2008 and must raise money to build brand new summer camp facilities at their new location in South Hero.

Proceeds from the festival will support a new cabin for arts, crafts, music and a community space. Last year's festival raised $90,000 for the Cancer Patient Support Program's Emergency Fund.

For more information about the Dragon Boat Festival, visit www.ridethedragon.org. More information about Camp Ta-Kum-Ta may be found at www.takumta.org

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