Dragon boats race Saturday in Solomons

The annual Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival returns to the Patuxent River town on Saturday, Aug. 17, with races from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Fourth Annual Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday, August 17, on the Patuxent River along the Solomons Island Riverwalk. Races will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There will be a variety of entertainment, food, crafts and kid-friendly activities. There will also be practice sessions during the evening on Friday, Aug. 16, as well as a Dotting of the Eye Ceremony at 7 p.m. outside Our Lady Star of the Sea on Solomons Island.

Dragon boat racing has become one of the fastest growing team water sports events. Dragon boat teams consist of 16 paddlers, a drummer and a trained steer person. The local festival's dragon boat provider is 22Dragons, visiting from Montreal. Teams are made up of people from local businesses or groups looking for some fun and to help raise funds for Southern Maryland Community Resources, which hosts the event. This year, the group announced an a la carte team option, in which each team member raises a certain dollar amount to pay for the cost of a team.

The event benefits Southern Maryland Community Resources, which creates opportunities for people with differing abilities, providing social, recreational and educational programs for the entire community, with an emphasis on accessibility for those with developmental differences.

For more information about this weekend's races, visit www.SolomonsDragonBoatFestival.com.