The Walgreens Chicago International Dragon Boat Festival returns to Lake Arlington in Arlington Heights on Saturday, July 27.
The event, scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is a high-spirited celebration of culture, sport and community that features the ancient Chinese sport that has been gaining popularity in North America over the past 20 years and has become the world's fastest growing water sport.
Dragon boats are 40-foot human-powered canoes decorated with ornate Chinese dragon heads. Led by the rhythmic beat of a drum, teams consisting of 20 synchronized paddlers, one drummer, and one steersperson race the boats 500 meters. Social groups and businesses embrace dragon boating because it builds camaraderie and a sense of "team" through participation in the sport.
The festival is free for spectators and includes an interactive expo area highlighted by the Walgreens Health & Wellness Village, food marketplace, kids zone and nonstop racing on the water.
The event is the fifth stop of the Major League Dragon Boat Series. It draws experienced participants from Midwestern states and Canada, as well as first-time racers from the Chicago area.
Lake Arlington is located at 2201 N. Windsor Drive, Arlington Heights. For more information visit www.gwndragonboat.com.