- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
End Hunger in Calvert County and the local community will kick off the summer with the second annual Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, June 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in North Beach.
That day, over 3,000 spectators will line the boardwalk in North Beach to watch as 34 teams compete for the fastest time across the finish line. Local food, craft and business vendors will also be part of the festival — all supporting one mission: ending hunger in Calvert County, a press release states.
WJLA ABC 7’s Chief Meteorologist Doug Hill, is confirmed to be back MC’ing the festival and calling the races, and Frank Dawson from WKIK-FM 102.9 will be broadcasting live from the Dragon Boat Festival.
New this year, End Hunger has partnered with Mully’s Brewery as the exclusive beer vendor for the festival, the release states. Mully’s will be serving Dragon Brew.
“I can’t think of a better way for Calvert to kick off the summer than with the End Hunger Dragon Boat Festival,” Jacqueline Miller, director of awareness for End Hunger, said in the release. “The beauty of Dragon Boat Festival is that no matter how you participate — on a team, as a spectator, a volunteer, or vendor — for one day, the entire county can come together, discover the power of #givewheryoulive and make a difference for the people in our community.”
Leading up to the festival are team practice nights starting Tuesday, June 17, and running through Friday, June 20. During that week, each team has the opportunity to get into a dragon boat and learn the proper racing techniques as well as meet the dragon boat coaches, the release states.
Because the event has nearly doubled from last year, teams will practice in both North Beach and Chesapeake Beach, making this a Twin Beaches festival. That week, both towns will be running dragon boat specials at local restaurants and stores, according to the release.
Last year, the event attracted 20 teams and over 2,500 spectators and raised $32,000 to support the mission of End Hunger. This year, all 34 teams are sold out and the Dragon Boat Festival is on track to raise over $60,000 — all of which goes to caring for the hungry in the county and moving them from dependency to self-sufficiency, the release states.
Yet, more than raising money, the Dragon Boat teams also hope to raise awareness. Last year alone, End Hunger distributed over 1 million pounds of food, the release states. For a list of End Hunger in Calvert County food pantries, go to endhungercalvert.org.
In July 2013, End Hunger was recognized by the Better Business Bureau as an accredited charity for meeting all 20 Standards of Charitable Accountability. As part of the accreditation process, the Better Business Bureau found that $0.93 of every dollar donated to the organization goes straight into programming, the release states.
Dragon Boat Festival sponsors include: American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206, Audio Plus, Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa, Chesapeake Church, Crow Entertainment, Curtis Homes, Early Bird Home Services LLC, Exelon Generation, Githens and Associates Insurance Agency, Gradient Construction, Honda of Bowie, Nissan of Bowie, NRG, Sisk Auto Body, S.J. Johnson, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative, and the towns of Chesapeake Beach and North Beach.