Paducah Dragon Boat Festival Receives Top Honors
By WestKyStar & River Discovery Center Staff
PADUCAH, KY - The best and brightest events were spotlighted this week at the Southeast Festivals and Events Association’s annual Kaleidoscope Awards, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where the Paducah Dragon Boat Festival received the Bronze Award for Best Festival.

The festival, now in its 7th year, has raised over $300,000 for the River Discovery Center’s educational programs since 2012. The festival typically has around 25 teams participating in the races.  

Lance Allison, Director of Business Development for Bacon Farmer Workman and his team’s captain said, “from a company perspective, the Dragon Boat Race was a fantastic team building event.  In a time where non-profits struggle to find innovative ways to raise funds, the River Discovery Center has captured a unique, fun, and successful event that helps fund their mission.

 “This is the second year that the festival has been recognized and we are excited that it has caught the attention of the judges. Competing with events all over the Southeast, makes winning even more special!  The event has allowed us to grow our programming and bring more relevant experiences to the school children in western Kentucky,” said Julie Harris, Executive Director of the River Discovery Center. "Businesses see the great value in participating as they are not just contributing to the River Discovery Center, they are offering a fun team building experience for their employees as well.”

All types of companies participate including hospitals, banks, and many from the river industry. Each team is made up of 16 paddlers and a drummer. No experience is required, and there is no age limit (other than children must be at least 12-years-old). 
Each year, the festival offers a children’s area with face painting, inflatables and more. And, there is a wide variety of food vendors. 

This year’s festival is September 22nd. Anyone interested in participating can call 270-575-9958. Visit the River Discovery Center at 117 South Water Street in downtown Paducah, or go to the website at

Published 05:36 PM, Saturday Mar. 10, 2018
Updated 10:25 AM, Saturday Mar. 17, 2018

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