Registration now open for Cornwall Waterfest dragon boat races

April 27, 2018

Cornwall Waterfest

Cornwall Waterfest

The historic Cornwall Canal is set to come alive once again on Saturday, August 11th with the return of Cornwall Waterfest.

One of Cornwall’s most popular summer events, Waterfest offers a mix of festivities, food, live entertainment and, of course, dragon boats. It’s all in support of a good cause – Hospice Cornwall.

The ancient vessels are steered up the canal by teams of paddlers working in rhythm with each other and a drummer at the bow. It’s an amazing sight for spectators and a unique experience for participants. Best of all, it’s open to everyone.

“You don’t need to have any experience,” said Waterfest Chair Lea Emard. “It’s a really fun activity. People of all ages and fitness levels try it out and they quickly develop a passion for the sport.”

The event offers a Community Division for those seeking a more fun and friendly type of competition, and there is also a Sport Division for those teams looking for more of a challenge.

Last year’s event featured eight teams and organizers are looking to grow that number in 2018. There’s already some interest from teams in Ottawa, Gatineau, Montreal, Peterborough and elsewhere.

Local teams are also being recruited for the event, either as workplace entries or groups of families and friends. Individuals can also register and be connected with others who would like to build a team.

“It’s a great team-building exercise for workplaces and a great way to have some fun with family, friends and co-workers,” said Mrs. Emard. “Many of our paddlers are trying it for the first time.”

Each team is guaranteed one practice prior to the event along with three races on the event day.

The entry fee is $840 per team ($40 per member, based on 20 paddlers and 1 drummer) and registration is now open, with a deadline of July 27th. All proceeds from the event will go to Hospice Cornwall.

Click here for the team registration form

In addition to the dragon boat races, the day-long event features food and drink vendors, a market featuring local artisans and homegrown live entertainment performing on the Waterfest stage. The activities are based near the western end of the canal near Power Dam Drive and Second Street West.

“It’s a great celebration of community right on our beautiful waterfront,” said Mrs. Emard.

For additional information on the event, registering a team, sponsorship or becoming a vendor, please visit the Cornwall Waterfest website.

Additional Events
Looking for other fun things to do in Cornwall? Make sure to check out our Events page for info on upcoming events in the area!

Additional Information
Planning a visit to Cornwall? Cornwall Tourism can help. Email us at to request a copy of our Visitor Guide or contact us at (613) 933-0074. You can also stop by our Visitor Information Centre at 100 Water Street East (inside the Civic Complex).

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Article by Kevin Lajoie