The 3rd Annual Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival, hosted by the Island Men, will be this weekend. With over 20 teams competing in this year’s race, it is set to be the biggest one yet.
The festival kicks off on Friday night with food, drinks and live entertainment at the Carolina Beach Marina. The Mark Roberts Band will go on the main stage, located behind the SeaWitch Café and Tiki Bar on Canal Drive, starting at 6 p.m.
Saturday is race day, with opening ceremonies beginning at 8:45 a.m. The boats will be docked near the finish line behind Gibbys Dock and Dine on Canal Drive, and teams will be asked to paddle out 350 meters to the start line. Qualifying rounds, which will be races against the clock, will be held from 9 a.m. – noon. Following a lunch break, the championship rounds will be held, and teams will compete head-to-head to win the top spots. After the final race is run, an awards ceremony will be held at the main event stage.
The entire event is free to the public and benefits local non-profit Step Up for Soldiers. The all-volunteer organization helps provide services for disabled veterans, builds memorials, and holds drives to collect items for care packages that are sent to service members stationed overseas.