The second of two major dragon boat race events in Metro Vancouver each year, the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Steveston Village in August.
Dragon Boat Racing in Steveston Village
The regatta is a one-day festival which in 2018 takes place on Saturday, August 25th. Another similar event is the much larger Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival which is a three-day event that happens in False Creek near Science World in mid-June.
Dragon Boating Location
The Steveston Dragon Boat Festival takes place in Richmond‘s Steveston Village between the Britannia Heritage Shipyard and Imperial Landing. The Britannia Heritage Shipyard is located at 5180 Westwater Drive and Imperial Landing is at 4000 Bayview Street further to the west.
2018 Festival Schedule
The following is the schedule of events for the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival for 2018:
- 8 am – Dragon Boat races begin
- 9 am – Food and market vendor stalls open
- 10 am – Children’s arts and crafts activity tent opens
- 11 am – Main Stage entertainment begins
- 12 pm – Beer Garden opens
- 5 pm – Awards Ceremony
2018 Entertainment Schedule
Every year there is also live music on the Main Stage including the following performances in 2018:
- 10 am – Rose Ranger
- 11:30 am – The Winston Matsushita Trio
- 1 pm – Los Tambores
- 2:30 pm – Las Estrellas de Vancouver
- 4 pm – The Palomars
In addition to the above, there is also DJ music by DJ Stephen Yau at various times throughout the day, plus the following performances:
- 12:10 pm – Chinese Lion Dance by the Shao Lin Hung Gar Lion Dance Team
- 2 pm – Chinese Dragon Dance and Procession by the Shao Lin Hung Gar Lion Dance Team
- 11:30 am to 3:30 pm – roving jugglers, unicyclists and stilt walkers from Vancouver’s CircusWest circus school
Dragon Boat Racing Details
At the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival up to six dozen teams compete in races that are 250 and 500 metres in distance. Each boat has about 20 paddlers plus a steerer and a drummer. Up to 72 teams compete each year.
The cost for participation is about $945 for women, coed teams and seniors, and $400 for juniors (of 12-18 years of age). A full Practice & Race Package including 4 practices costs $2400 in 2018. Early bird registration discounts are also available.
Advice and Suggestions
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your visit to Steveston Village and the Richmond Dragon Boat Festival.
TIP #1: Parking is available starting at 7 am for race participants at the T Homma School which is right by the Britannia Heritage Shipyard at 5180 Westwater Drive. The cost is about $5 with proceeds going to the Richmond Food Bank. Spaces are limited so plan to carpool.
TIP #2: Steveston Village is a beautiful and very interesting place. There is a walking and cycling path that goes for miles all along the water and the Britannia Heritage Shipyard is itself a National Historic Site, as is the Gulf of Georgia Cannery located in the heart of Steveston Village. While you’re in the area, get out and explore!
TIP #3: Also taking place in Richmond on Saturday is the Richmond Night Market which costs slightly more than $4 and is located at 8351 River Road not far from the Bridgeport SkyTrain Station. Especially if you’ve never been, and you like markets, it’s worth checking out.
TIP #4: If you want to compete in the dragon boat racing, register well in advance as the event sells out well before race day.