Summertime in Denver is about to get even hotter with the arrival of The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival! This free family-friendly celebration has become a wildly popular event and commemorates the ancient Asian culture, while highlighting the Asian Pacific American heritage that lives right here in Denver. It is the only festival of its kind in the United States and it’s definitely one you’ll want to add to your list of things to do in Denver!
Dragon Boat Festival History
The Colorado version of this highly cultural festival receives its roots from a similar Chinese celebration known as the Duanwu Festival. It is an annual affair in honor of a legendary man named Qu Yuan, who was one of the seven warring states in China’s first feudal dynasty. He was an exalted man and was passionate about his county, and eventually became a famous poet. When the State of Quin invaded China, Qu Yuan drowned himself in the river before he could see his country occupied by the enemy.
Since his death took place on the fifth day of the fifth lunar moon, the people of China decided to celebrate his life annually with dragon boat racing and the eating of zongzi. This festival is still celebrated in China and Taiwan 2,000 years later, and has spread all over the globe.
What to Expect at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
Taking place this July 30 and 31 at Sloan’s Lake Park, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival will feature many activities for you and your family to take part in. It is mainly centered around the dragon boat competition, which features over 50 teams of boaters sailing down Sloan’s Lake in colorful vessels adorned with colorful dragon heads and bodies.
There will also be five performing arts stages with over 100 shows, an Asian inspired marketplace filled with goods from Asia and the Pacific, a traditional lion dance, The Taste of Asia food courts, and so much more!
If you’re worried about entertaining the kids, Dragonland will keep them busy with hands-on origami and dragon mask lessons.
Colorado Anime Fest will be a new addition to this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, so anyone who enjoys Japanese animation will be thrilled to attend.
More Upcoming Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss
Aside from the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, Denver will also be celebrating the Far East culture by hosting the Cherry Blossom Festival this June. Including activities such as martial arts, dance groups, traditional food and drinks to try, and numerous vendors sharing their Asian inspired products, this festival celebrates Colorado’s Japanese-American culture in a whole new way!
The Cherry Creek Arts Festival is also just around the corner! Located in Denver’s Cherry Creek North Shopping District, this award-winning festival celebrates visual, performing, and culinary arts. Attendance booms at 350,000 visitors annually and admission is absolutely free. While you’re there, take a ride on the Cherry Creek bike trail!
Stay With Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast When You Visit Denver’s Many Festivals
The Castle Marne Bed & Breakfast is an actual castle, full of history and charm in the heart of Denver’s City Park and Capitol Hill neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a place for your next girls’ weekend, or just an unique spot to stay in the bustling city of Denver, we have everything you need for a memorable vacation. Check out some of our promotions for a special discount, and download our free Denver vacation guide for more things to do and see in the city. Contact us today, and start planning your Denver vacation!