Get away from it all and soak in the diverse culture and flavor of Asia and the Pacific at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival.

Celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, the 2017 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (CDBF) is a FREE family-friendly festival highlighting Colorado’s rich Asian American Pacific Islander heritage returning to Sloan’s Lake Park in northwest Denver July 29-30th.

The CDBF is one of the best cultural festivals in the US. It showcases an array of traditional and contemporary performing arts, cultural customs, cuisine and a marketplace of unique and hard-to-find arts, crafts and vendors, in addition to two days of action packed dragon boat racing.

*NEW* Spicy Ramen Eating Contest

Come join us for our new Spicy Ramen eating contest in the AARP Gateway to Asia area. We will be testing out your spice levels on Saturday, July 29th from 1:30-2:30 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. Winner will take home prizes! Come test your ability to handle spicy noodles with Vietnamese chili peppers.

Racers, Push the Paddle to the Medal!

Racers are preparing to push their paddles to a medal in this year’s fast-paced dragon boat racing competition with two full days of racing. The colorful Flag Catching- Taiwanese-style boats are back by popular demand for. Each Boat will have 18 paddlers, one drummer and one flag catcher. Head to finish line to witness the exciting moment that the flag catcher has to learn out grab the flag to win the race! We will also have the Hong Kong style division. On this slimmer, sleeker boat, they travel faster on the water. Each Boat will have 20 paddlers.

Savor a Taste of Asia and shop until you drop

Festival-goers can satisfy their appetite with culinary delights from all of Asia and the Pacific at both of our Taste of Asia Food Court. Food vendors will showcase an abundance of mouthwatering cuisine such as Thai Basil Chicken Curry, Saigon Shrimp Slaw, Vietnamese Lemongrass Beef and Organic Indian Lentil Curry featured at past festivals, along with favorites like coconut milk, sweet rice and beef satay. Attendees can also shop to their heart’s content at a Marketplace full of unique, one-of-a-kind arts, crafts and vendors similar to those found in the open-air street markets of Hong Kong, Manila, Seoul or Bombay. Items available for purchase to liven up the living room or breakfast table might include Thai home accessories, Chinese calligraphy and Japanese pottery.

Feel the Asian Beat

Get your toes tapping at the Performing Arts Stage, which will feature both traditional and contemporary Asian and Asian-American instrumental, vocal, choral and dance performances by well-known local artists. Past performances have included: Japanese taiko drumming by Denver Taiko, singer/songwriter Dwight Mark, and Indian-fusion dancers.

Open the Door to the Asian World

Follow the Gateway to Asia for an interactive and entertaining look at different Asian Pacific cultures and art. The cultural village element provides an intimate look into the rich customs and history of Cambodia will also be featured with exhibits, speakers, cultural displays, and authentic cuisine.

Family Fun

Children and families can enjoy Dragonland, a special area that offers entertaining, hands-on educational activities. Kids of all ages have a chance to learn about the diverse cultures celebrated at the festival with crafts such as face painting, origami and calligraphy. Back by popular demand, Adam Lee will be at the festival delighting and confounding kids and adults alike both days, along with Bongo the Balloon Man who will also be performing his artistry daily, creating a variety of colorful animals, funny hats, flowers, swords, and more. We will be continuing efforts of upcycling where festival patrons can take their plastic water bottles and turn them into planters or bird feeders.

Cultural Unity – Understanding the Past to Know our Future

The popular Cultural Unity Stage, which made its debut at the Festival in 2007 returns this year. It will again feature Hip-Hop and urban dance/music performances, while also incorporating a unique theme for this year of “Understanding the Past to Know our Future.” The Cultural Unity stage highlights different multi-cultural traditions of the past to help understand the direction of future generations.

Continuing Initiatives for 2017:

• The 10th Annual Commemorative Poster design contest offers cash awards to the top three winners and the opportunity to be featured in festival merchandise and marketing materials.
• Location on West Side of Sloan’s Lake Park due to renovations. The Festival will take place on the Northwest side of the park at the intersections of 25th Ave
• Environmentally sound transportation options continue for 2017. To reduce the carbon footprint of those traveling to the Festival , the CDBF will provide parking at Sports Authority at Mile High field with bus shuttle service. Also, the Festival encourages the public to take advantage of green transportation options such as B-Cycle, and Bike Corrals at the festival. Alternative parking options will be listed on the closer to the festival.

Festival Facts:

What: 17th Annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, a family-friendly celebration of Colorado’s rich Asian American Pacific Islander heritage.

When: Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 30th, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Sloan’s Lake Park (West Side) – 25th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, northwest Denver

Cost: FREE Admission