They have come a long way from their historic roots in Chinese naval warfare. At that time, the fast, maneuverable, oared longboats functioned like an efficient marine cavalry.
Saturday, March 11, the Chinese inspired dragon boats will return to Tavares for the 15th Annual Dragon Boat Festival. Local and regional teams will compete in multiple heats during a festive atmosphere until winners are named in various racing classes ranging from the light-hearted to the serious competitors. Racing heats begin just after 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day on the waters along Wooton Park. Taiko drummers and the Chinese Acrobats, an impressive entertainment act, are some of the festival's favorite attractions under the big tent in the park. Food vendors will also be at the event sponsored by the area's Rotary Club.