Dragon Boat Festival

Planning for the 22nd Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival is well underway and registration opened Wednesday March 1st.  The first 3 teams to register will win a bonus lake practice for free.

This year’s event will take place on Saturday June 10th, 2023 at Del Crary Park and will once again feature Dragon Boat Races, Artisan and Food Vendors, Family Fun Zone, Beer Garden and much more!

For safety reasons, Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival committee has secured approval from the City of Peterborough to close Crescent Street from George St to Winch Street on race day, Saturday, June 10, 2023 from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The streets affected are:

  • Perry St. from the east side of George St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Lake St. from the east side of George St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Lock St. from the north side of Romaine St. to the south side of Crescent St.
  • Romaine Street from the east side of Lock St. to the west side of Crescent St.
  • Crescent St. from the south side of Perry St. to the west side of Winch St.
  • Rink St. from the east side of George St at the Crary Park Marina entrance.


The entire Peterborough community is welcome to attend Festival and enjoy a great day by the water at Del Crary Park cheering on the paddlers and taking in the day’s events. Below is the event schedule (times are subject to change):


8:00 AM – Awakening the Dragon/Opening Ceremonies

8:30 AM – First Race Heats begin

9:00 AM – Vendors Village Market opens with over 40 vendors brought to us from Modern   Makers Market including food vendors

9:00 AM – Family Fun Zone opens offering activities and crafts to keep all entertained

10:00 AM – First shuttle bus pickup at Healthy Planet

11:00 AM – Mackenzie Cup Race followed by the Flower Ceremony

11:00 AM – The Thirsty Dragon Beer Garden opens

12:30 PM – Second Race Heats begin

3:10 PM – Divisional Finals begin

3:45 PM – Last shuttle bus leaves Del Crary Park

4:00 PM – Raffle draw at the tent near the bleachers

4:50 PM – Awards Ceremony – Race Trophies/Top Individual Fundraisers – At the bleachers


The festival organizers wish to thank the residents nearby for their ongoing support and cooperation and to the entire community for helping to make this event so successful since 2001.

Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival has been a community staple event since 2001 and organizers are excited to build on the momentum they created last year as they hosted the city’s largest in-person fundraising events since the Covid-19 pandemic, raising an impressive $202,268.41 for the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation (PRHCF).

“I am thrilled to once again work with an amazing group of volunteers” said Michelle Thornton, Festival Chair.  “We continue to work hard to fulfill our motto of “Making a Difference One Race at a Time” by raising money to help fund world-class breast and other cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC).

And what a difference they have made so far.  To date, the festival has raised over 3.9 million dollars and has once again set an aggressive fundraising goal.

“It is estimated that 2 out of 5 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer” Thornton added.  “Our goal of $205,00.18 reflects these statistics and the importance of screening equipment and early detection. The festival is approaching the 4 million-dollar mark and we can’t wait to once again welcome everyone to such a worthy and important fundraising event”.

Festival host Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat Team President Ann Stabler said they are proud of the outstanding impact the team has made since it’s inception in 1999.  “We’ve always focussed on breast cancer awareness and raising funds for the Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s (PRHC).  We know first hand the importance of PRHC’s continuing mission to bring the best cancer care the world has to offer, right here to our hospital.  With community support, the hospital will be able to serve more patients, support earlier cancer diagnosis, and ensure safer, more effective treatment, close to home”.

Proceeds of the 2023 Festival will allow PRHC to invest in the equipment and technology that makes cancer care possible – like minimally-invasive surgical tools and a second cutting-edge MRI machine while attracting and retaining the best and brightest healthcare professionals.

Lesley Heighway, PRHC Foundation President & CEO says she’s incredibly grateful to all the participants, sponsors, donors and volunteers who helped Festival thrive over the years.  “Cancer volumes are on the rise and the number of patients from Peterborough and the surrounding area who receive treatment at PRHC has grown significantly,” she said.  “PRHC’s ability to provide expert, compassionate cancer treatment depends on having state-of-the-art equipment and technology. But the government doesn’t fund equipment, so our hospital counts on donations to purchase the tools. That’s why Peterborough’s Dragon Boat festival is such a vital fundraiser for our community. The festival helps save lives.”

All pledges support the cause which means the Festival relies on the generosity of local businesses and organizations to cover expenses and provide the best experience possible for participants.  These sponsors are committed to community involvement and the importance of giving back and organizers are delighted that Kawartha Credit Union will continue to be the event’s Presenting Sponsor, marking their 22nd year.


“At Kawartha Credit Union, “care for others” is one of our core values and we are passionate about contributing to the well-being of the communities we serve,” said Norah McCarthy, KCU’s President & CEO. “Being the Platinum Sponsor of Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival allows us to provide financial support while also participating in a fun event that unites Peterborough and our surrounding areas in a common goal to improve local health care resources.”

Registration for the 22nd edition of Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival opens March 1st 12:00 am and can be done at www.ptbodragonboat.ca.  The first 3 teams to register will win a free extra practice in a dragon boat on Little Lake.


Participants and supporters are encouraged to engage with the Festival on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the handle @ptbodragonboat