Media Availability for Capital City Dragon Boat Race


September 13 – 14, 2014 -­ Lansing, MI

Women’s Center of Greater Lansing Holding 2014 Capital City Dragon Boat Races with Open Media Availability

WHAT: The Capital City Dragon Boat Races

WHERE: East and West Adado Riverfront Park, Lansing

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday September 13 – 14, 2014 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days

WHO: Dragon boat teams, volunteers, fans, and the general public. Vendors, food trucks, the Confucius Institute of Michigan State University, and more.

WHY: This year, the Capital City Dragon Boat Races will be hosted as a fund raiser benefiting the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing and expanded to include a festival.

The races and festival are being put on by the Women’s Center, Greater Lansing Sports Authority, LEPFA, and the Confucius Institute with all the proceeds benefiting the Women’s Center.

Media is invited to the team practices held all day Saturday at the park to observe and record. We’ll have paddlers and the race coordinator available for interviews. Media is also welcome on Sunday during the festival and races. Visit for a full schedule of events.

CONTACT: Please contact Cindie Alwood, Executive Director of the Women’s Center at 517.372.7981 with any questions.


I’m on a Team, What Can I Bring to the Race?

I’m on a Team – what can I bring to the CAPITAL CITY DRAGON BOAT RACE?


  • Your own lifejacket (but we have PFDs for everyone if you don’t own one.)
  • Chairs, blankets, suntan lotion
  • Food and beverages, coolers, ice
  • Refillable water bottles
  • $$ to vote for your team theme, buy some race merchandise, support the food trucks!
  • Your Team Buddy – a volunteer who will monitor your team’s race schedule to keep you on time, and who will guard your stuff while you’re on the water.
  • Your camera – make sure it’s water friendly! Yep, you can wear a Go Pro, but don’t stop paddling in the middle of the race to adjust it!
  • Safe shoes for dragon boating – sandals are okay, but need a strap across your heel.
  • Yes to a big happy smile – there will be lots of folks taking your picture as you paddle in this unique race!
  • IMPORTANT: Lifejackets (PFDs) MUST be worn anytime you are on the dock or on the water. No exceptions.
  • Your Team Buddy – a volunteer who will watch your race schedule, and guard your stuff while you’re on the water.


  • Your own paddle
  • Anything bigger than a 10’x10’ awning
  • No trailers, vehicles, etc. in the park.
  • Anything with alcohol in it – sorry, our permits don’t allow this.
  • Our permits also don’t allow anything that generates heat = no grills, candles, canned Sterno, etc.
  • Your pets – it’s a long day, please leave them in the comfort of your home.
  • No flip-flop shoes or bare feet on the boats.
  • Please, no bottled water – we’re trying to ‘Be Green’.
  • There will not be electric service for you to recharge your devices – plan ahead or relax and have an old-fashion phone-free day!
  • This one’s so important we’re repeating it: Lifejackets (PFDs) MUST be worn anytime you are on the docks or on the water. No exceptions.

Timeline for Teams

Friday, 9/12/14

  • The American Dragon Boat Association arrives with FOUR dragon boats this year! Watch for these 40’ long boats on trailers as they roll into town Friday evening!

Saturday, 9/13/14

  • The dragon boats will be launched bright and early from Sweeney’s Landing, and will be paddled past the City Market to East Adado Park docks, where they will stay until Sunday post-race. Shop early at the Market, and wave as the dragons go by!
  • Team practice: Each team will be assigned a 1 hour training session for Saturday. Please arrive early enough to include parking (LCC ramp or parking meters.) Training will begin promptly, in order to keep the training schedule. Teams will have land-based training, as well as on the water training. This is when the fun begins!
  • Team Captains: This is also when you bring your decorated Team Theme collection jug (a clean 1 gallon plastic milk jug, decorated to match your team’s theme) and an extra team t-shirt. These will be displayed throughout the race, as an opportunity to have people vote for your team with money, in the Team Theme competition. All funds raised are targeted towards women’s cancer support activities at the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. Yes, you can start collecting money early! And shameless encourage the spectators to vote for your team! Voting will be influenced by your team t-shirt, your campsite and even a team cheer. This is a great opportunity to show your creativity!
  • While there is overnight Security in the Park this weekend, we suggest that you limit setting up your campsite to just your 10’x10’ awning – due to City restrictions, nothing larger is allowed. You don’t have to bring an awning – there are lots of trees in our beautiful park.
  • Just a heads-up on Saturday: There will be a Walk taking place on the Rivertrail – please don’t interfere with their event.
  • There will be a food truck under the Shiawassee St. bridge from 10a-5p – please consider supporting their efforts!
  • Team captains, you will receive communication from the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing regarding your assigned training time. Phone: (517) 372-9163

Sunday, 9/14/14

  • 7:00am: Teams begin arriving to set-up their ‘campsites’ in Athletes Village, located in East Adado Park. You cannot drive vehicles into the park, so please coordinate with your team to bring in your chairs, coolers, personal lifejackets, etc. You may bring in a 10’x10’ awning, but nothing larger. As per our permit with the City and our insurance policy, this event is alcohol-free, and no grills, candles, etc. may be brought into the park. There will not be electricity available in the Athletes Village. No animals are allowed in the campsites, but service animals are of course welcome.
  • Parking: The LCC Parking Ramp will be open at no charge on Saturday and Sunday; meters are free on weekends; do NOT park at the City Market (that is only for Market patrons, please); and because of events in the Lansing Center, City of Lansing Parking will most likely be charging to park in the lots around the Lansing Center. The LCC ramp and street parking are your best bets.
  • Move-in: Here’s what we CAN do for you – load all of your gear into one vehicle, and Happy’s Pizza has graciously allowed the use of their parking lot for early morning, Sunday unloading ONLY. You won’t have to carry your gear so far, but you do need to move your vehicle as soon as you’ve unloaded. And Go Green Trikes will be in the park helping to transport your gear as well – a nice donation to the race! (Which is not to say that you can’t tip your driver.) Happy’s Pizza is at Saginaw and N. Cedar, facing East Adado Park.
  • 7:00a: Registration will be open for any questions. This is located in Vendor Village, the large open grassy area just north of the Shiawassee St. Bridge in East Adado Park. This is also where Bike Valet Parking can be found, and your Team Theme jugs will be displayed there, too. And Tim Horton’s is generously supporting your coffee habit!
  • 7:30a-7:45a: Teams begin gathering in East Adado to do Tai Chi warm-ups together, then gather on the river bank around the docks, where we will do the traditional Awakening the Dragons ceremony. New this year: a Pink Carnation Remembrance Ceremony, honoring those who have lost their battle with cancer, those who continue the fight, and those who have won their battle.
  • 8:30a – Racing begins. We will continue racing all day, working thru the division brackets. By having four boats this year, Sunday should move more quickly than in previous races, but we also have double the teams.
  • 9:00a – the Vendor Village exhibits and Panda Playland kids’ activities will open in East Adado Park, continuing throughout the day, including performances provided by various Confucius Institutes here in Michigan. It’s their 10-year anniversary in Michigan, and they are using CCDBR as their big public celebration, bringing Chinese culture from the four CIs here in Michigan – MSU, U of M, Wayne State, and Western Michigan. These activities are geared towards the teams, as well as the public, with free family fun activities.
  • Public viewing will take place both in East and West Adado Park, along the riverbanks.
  • Sunday there will be TWO food trucks for your convenience, under the Shiawassee St. Bridge! Please support their efforts to come down and serve you!
  • Racing ends – hey, it’s a competition = it’s done when it’s done . . . but plan on being with us all day.
  • Post-Race – Immediately following the last race, we will do the Awards Ceremony in the Vendor Village, East Adado Park.
  • Once the Awards Ceremony is over, please pack up your campsite and take everything with you . . . and please help out the volunteers by making good use of the trash and recycling receptacles.

THANK YOU for participating in the 2014 Capital City Dragon Boat Race, benefitting the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. Have Fun! Do Good!

. . . . and Paddles Up!

Calling All Paddlers!

Hey wonderful Lansing-ites we need your help recruiting more people to participate in dragon boating this year. A couple of teams have petered out. We have four boats and ideally would like to have 28 teams. We’re at 26ish right now. One team is not responding to my requests for information so are no longer in the count. So what say you all? Will you talk to your friends, neighbors, countrypeople and help us fill two more teams? Please? There might be something special in it for you if you do….

Also, SUNDAY is the big day to show up. Saturday is a practice day and depending on how many teams we end up with we won’t need to have heats or time trials to determine divisions. It’s not really a two day time commitment, just a couple of hours on Saturday – which you will know ahead of time – and all day Sunday. We have two food trucks coming, cool and fun vendors, and the piece de resistance – DRAGON BOATING! What better way to spend a beautiful pre-Fall weekend but on the gorgeous Grand River with 700 of your boating buddies? I can’t think of anything more fun. Really.

Picture it…working those arms and back muscles, gliding on the river at warp speed, getting shouted at by the sternsmen/women, listening to the beat of a drum, sweating your ass off, breathing so hard your heart feels like it will pop out of your chest, smiling so wide the bugs will lodge firmly in your teeth, feeling a sense of accomplishment that NOTHING else compares to, basking in the adrenaline rush and showing off your medals in your workplace on Monday morning – I mean, really what could be better?? Do. This.

Capital Region Community Foundation Grant Funds Two Race Teams

This week we were notified that the Capital Region Community Foundation will be providing a grant to support two teams for the Race this year. The grant is specifically for one team of at-risk youth and another team of survivors. The Women’s Center of Greater Lansing defines survivors as anyone who has survived cancer, domestic violence, or sexual assault.

Training will start in July and our team of trainers is ready to go—we just need paddlers! If you or someone you know fits into the category of at-risk youth or woman survivor and would like to train and participate in the Dragon Boat Race & Festival this year, please contact us ASAP by phone at 517.372.9163 or .

Thanks for spreading the word. Paddles up!