At each of the boats’ prow, a dragon, open-mouthed, roared its challenge to each other boat beating in time alongside. All day, Sept. 14, the dragons raced through Port Jefferson Harbor.
At the 6th annual Dragon Boat Race Festival, hosted by the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, 27 teams competed on a 250-meter, three-lane racing course in front of Harborfront Park. Each boat consisted of 20 paddlers along with one steersman and one drummer who beat out the time of the oars. The vast majority of teams were made up of amateurs, some whose first time stepping into a rowing position was at the Sept. 14 event.
Alongside the rows of tents used for the teams and their rowers, children could also watch and try their hands at traditional Chinese calligraphy and get their faces painted.
In addition to the ongoing races in the harbor, performers made use of the new stage at Haborfront Park for productions, from the Yiyuan Dance School showcasing a traditional Chinese and Xinjiang folk set to the Stony Brook-based Taiko Tides doing the classic Japanese percussion ensemble. Multiple martial arts schools gave demonstrations of Kung Fu and Karate.