NEW YORK — A festive tradition returned to New York City on Saturday — the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.
UKTN’s Astrid Martinez was there as the 30th annual celebration kicked off in Queens.
A sunny day with a clear blue sky was the perfect way to welcome back the colorful and beloved tradition.
“A part of me was missing. You’re taking part of me, and not just me, part of the dragon boat family,” said Henry Wan, festival president.
The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival paddled back to Flushing Meadows Corona Park at full capacity for the first time since 2019.
“You can see the excitement today. So many teams. We have over 170 teams this weekend,” Wan said.
“It’s a truly spectacular opportunity to build friendships and experience culture,” said Candy Nip, director of the Hong Kong Economic Trade Office in New York.
The Queens event is the country’s oldest and longest-running dragon boat festival, and while it’s entertaining for some, it’s fiercely competitive for others.
“We first started in 2015, so we are very excited. We had a great performance in 2019, our last race before the pandemic, so we want to exceed that performance,” said Ling Xu, director of retail banking for Vlissingen. Bank.
There is also plenty to do on dry land, with music performances and food stalls.
“If you look around here, you see people from all walks of life coming to participate, and to be able to bring them together is very good,” Wan said.
The Dragon Boat Festival continues on Sunday. Racing is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.