Lake Hernando Dragonboat Festival

Lake Hernando Dragonboat Festival

Postponed due to Covid-19

About The Festival

Now known as “The Beast of the Southeast”, this event has become one of the largest International Dragon Boat Festivals in the Southeast, bringing teams and spectators in from all around Florida and the entire Southeast region. Over 5,000 participants and spectators attended this event last year and it continues to grow. Come join us for this fun community event featuring Dragon Boat racing, Arts & Crafts, a Veterans Village, great food, and so much more!

Photo of a Dragonboat team smiling in their boat

General Info, Sponsors, Volunteers and Vendors:

Shaunda Burdette,
Executive Director
burdettes@citrusschools.org or call
(352) 726-1931
x2240

Susan Frampton
Associate Director
susan.frampton@ citruseducation.org or call
(352) 726-1931 x4369

Race Info, Registration and Waivers:

Bobbie McCue
bobbiemccue@gmail.com
or call 352-552-5025

Photo of a women's Dragonboat team in their boat

Form A Team

Forming a dragon boat team is easy! Included in your team registration is a practice session where we will show you how to paddle and race. Practices sessions and race day include all of the necessary equipment such as a boat, paddles, life-vests, a drum and a steersperson/coach.  Find yourself either 10 or 20 co-workers, friends and/or family members to join you in this exciting event!

Interested in Being a Sponsor?

Sponsor Info

Interested in Being a Food Vendor?

Food Vendor Info & Contract

Interested in Being a Vendor?

Arts & Crafts • Commerical • Non-Profit

Vendor Info & Contract

Thank You To Our Sponsors!

Discover Crystal River Florida logo
Citrus County Chronicle logo
Citrus County Chamber of Commerce logo
Nature Coast Dragon Boat Club logo
Suncoast Credit Union logo
walmart logo
Office Depot Office Max logo
CoreCivic logo
Technology Conservation Group logo

Location

Lake Hernando Park

This 3-acre park is ideal for family fun, offering swimming, water-skiing, fishing, picnicking or just playing in the sunshine. It is easy to reach, just off of US-41 with paved parking nearby.

For more information visit: http://www.bocc.citrus.fl.us

Photo of the Dragon Boat Race Course map
Click image to enlarge

Directions

Lake Hernando Park
3699 E Orange Drive
Hernando FL 34442

Get Directions


Dragon Boat Race Rules

The interpretation of any of the following rules and regulations shall be the final decision of the Event Operator (Citrus County Education Foundation (CCEF) or their designee.

General

  • Any crew that fails to observe the Rules and Regulations herein may be disqualified.
  • A limited number of credentials will be issued to each crew. These are for the use of the crew and its officials only and are not to be used by other persons.
  • Each team must submit a completed Team Registration, complete with Roster and one (1) Waiver per person to the race producer.
  • Operator reserves the right to refuse entry to any crew in the race at its sole discretion.
  • All matters not specifically addressed in this “Rules and Regulations” will be determined, at its sole discretion, by the Event Operator.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated, and Event Operator may suspend teams from competition.
  • The Event Operator reserves the right to seek legal action against a team or crew member for damages caused by failing to follow the Rules and Regulations or negligent or wrongful acts or omissions.
  • The Event Operator reserves the right to waive, amend and add to any of the Rules and Regulations.
  • Crew members are not allowed to consume alcoholic beverages during the event.
  • Crew members shall carry, and the Event Operator reserves the right to check photo IDs at all times during the event.

Safety

  • Crew members must be able to swim at least 100 meters wearing light clothing. It is the responsibility of the organization or individual entering a crew to make sure that all members of the crew comply with this rule.
  • Each crew member is solely responsible for his or her own safety during official practice sessions and during races.
  • Personal Flotation Device (PFD’s) will be provided to all crew members and must be worn in the proper manner at all times while in the dragon boat.
  • These rules concerning safety should not be construed as authority over and above requirements necessitated by regulatory agencies.
  • In the event of a swamped boat, all crew members must stay with the boat, report any missing persons to the steer person and wait for further instructions from a safety official.

Waivers

  • A “Registered Crew Member” is any person who is listed on race roster (also referred to herein as “crew member”).
  • All Registered Crew Members must sign a waiver/release/assumption/indemnity in a form required by Event Operator (“Waiver”) stating that they have read the conditions of the waiver and are aware of the risks associated with Dragon Boat racing, and accept and thus waive any right or course of action they may have against the Event Operator, sponsors, supporters or any organizations connected with the event for injury or death to person(s) or loss/damage to personal property. Crew members who are under the age of eighteen (18) years must have the Waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to participating in any dragon boat activities. Minimum age 14 in the Mixed and BCS Divisions.
  • All crew members must sign and return a waiver to the Event Operator prior to any practice sessions, and for race activities.
  • Event Operator may require signing more than one Waiver.

The Crew and Crew Composition

  • Each boat may carry up to 20 paddlers for the Dragon Boat races. A minimum of 10 paddlers must be women in the Mixed Division and for the 10 person boat a minimum must be 5 women paddlers in the Mixed Division. BCS Division must be all female, except for the steersperson. Each boat must also carry one drummer.
  • At the time of entry each organization entering a crew shall have the required minimum of 18 paddlers (minimum of 8 must be women) plus one drummer. The drummer must actively drum during the race.
    The Event Operator specifically reserves the right to waive or amend the previous 2 rules.
  • Each paddler shall only be registered under the name of one team and may not compete for any other team. In no case shall any crew members paddle for more than one team.
  • Each crew is entirely responsible for its own conduct and for complying with the race rules.
  • A crew’s roster can include up to 24 paddlers (4 of them being alternates), 1 drummer and 1 steersperson.
  • If the Event Operator provides a crew with a steersperson, that crew may not fill that space on the roster with an additional paddler. Max 24 paddlers.
Complete Club Crew gender rules can be found at:
panamdragonboat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/2019-Crew-Composition-Gender-Rules.pdf
  • The Event Operator specifically reserves the right to waive or amend any rules.
  • Each paddler shall only be registered under the name of one team and may not compete for any other team. In no case shall any crew members paddle for more than one team.
  • Each crew is entirely responsible for its own conduct and for complying with the race rules.
  • On a standard size boat, a crew’s roster can include up to 26 paddlers (4 of them being alternates), 1 drummer and 1 steersperson. On a small size boat, a crew’s roster can include up to 14 paddlers (2 of them being alternates), 1 drummer and 1 steersperson.

Marshaling, Embarking and Proceeding to Start

  • A crew must assemble in the Marshaling Area and be ready to board 30 minutes before the time of its race.
  • A crew must follow the directions of the Race Officials from the time it is called to the Marshaling Area.
  • A crew must board the dragon boat in accordance to instructions given by Race Officials.
  • A crew is not permitted to choose which boat to use and must use the boat assigned by Race Officials.
  • Each boat is assigned to a lane in which it is to race. A crew must race in the assigned lane.
  • After a crew has boarded, it must leave the dock area and immediately proceed to the starting area by using the designated traveling lane.

Starting Procedure

  • A crew in the starting area must obey the instructions of the Starter, Judges and other Race Officials.
  • A crew shall not cross the race course to its assigned starting position until after the preceding race has been started and it is clear that a false start has not occurred.
  • A crew must take up its correct position in the starting area in the lane assigned to it. It is the responsibility of the team and not the Judge, to maintain its correct position before the start.
  • When the Starter is satisfied that the crews are correctly aligned, the Starter will alert all crews by raising the horn and give the verbal warning “Attention please.” After a 1-3 second pause, a horn will then be sounded to signify the start of the race.
  • It is the responsibility of each team captain to make sure that each crew member is familiar with the starting procedure. The starting signal is the horn.
  • In the event that the Starter considers that any crew has started before the horn is sounded, a second horn will be sounded to signify a false start and all crews must stop and return immediately to the start. The race will be restarted. The Starter will issue a warning to any crew that causes a false start.
  • Any crew that fails to return after a false start or that causes two false starts may be disqualified.

Race Conduct

  • The proper course for each boat is a straight line from its starting position to a corresponding point on the finish line. Each boat must remain in the middle of its allocated lane and may not interfere with other boats.
  • In the event of a boat failing to keep its proper course and thereby interfering with the course of another boat which is on its proper course, or in the event of a collision between two or more boats, the Chief Race Official may, after consultation with other Race Officials, disqualify the offending boat or boats, impose a penalty on the offending boat or order one or more boats to re-race the race, or both, where, in the Chief Race Official’s opinion, the result of the race has been materially affected.
  • If, in the opinion of the Race Officials, a boat has been swamped or capsized deliberately by the crew, the Event Operator reserves the right to disqualify and refuse such crew’s entry in this year’s and future races. A penalty of $500.00 will also be imposed on the team.
  • If, in the opinion of the Chief Race Official, after consultation with other Race Officials, a boat is damaged deliberately by the crew, the Event Operator reserves the right to impose a penalty of $5,000.00 on the organization entering the crew. The Event Operator also reserves the right to require such organization to pay for the costs of repairs to the damaged boat.

Enter A Team

Why Join? 

There are so many reasons to enter a team in the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival including team building, fundraising, camaraderie and good ‘ole fun! But did you also know that Club and Community teams are offered an amazingly low rate of only $750 for a 20 person team? Or you can form a 10-person team to race in our Mini Dragon Boats for only $450!

Team Categories

Community Teams are Teams that…

  • Do not practice or have opportunity to practice on a regular basis
  • Have not had more than 3 practices prior to race day
  • Do not have more than 2 club level paddlers on their roster

(NOTE: If your team does not meet the above Community criteria you MUST register as a Club Team. The Festival reserves the right to move any team into the Club Division if it deems that a team claiming Community status has an unfair advantage based on the above)

Table of the different team categories and their restrictions
Photo of a team wearing matching pink life vests

Form A Team

Forming a dragon boat team is easy! Included in your team registration is a practice session where we will show you how to paddle and race. Practice sessions and race day include all of the necessary equipment such as a boat, paddles, life-vests, a drum and a steersperson/coach.  Find yourself either 10 or 20 co-workers, friends and/or family members to join you in this exciting event!

Race Day

All of the teams will enjoy setting up their rest area in a beautiful location under the shady live oaks, with great views of the lake and race course.

Each team that registers will race a minimum of 3 times on race day. Corporate and community teams will be racing on a 300m race course and there will be an optional 2000m race for those top 5 fastest big boat teams and the top 5 fastest small boat teams, as time allows.

Photo of participants holding up a carnation in the air
Photo of a drummer on the bow of a dragonboat

Equipment

Your team’s registration includes 1 practice, 2 if you register both a 20-person and a 10-person team. All of the necessary equipment will be supplied to your team, including a boat, life vests, paddles and a steersperson / coach. Your team must supply the paddlers (at least 10 paddlers must be women) and the drummer (drummer need not be present at the practice).

Payment

Team registration will take place on the Pan Am website at https://register.panamdragonboat.com/login#21204
Each team that registers will race a minimum of 3 times on race day. Corporate and community teams will be racing on a 300m race course.

All payments and team registrations must be made by Friday, October 30th , 2020.

Final team rosters and all waivers are due no later than Monday, November 2nd , 2020.

We have 2 options for payment of your registration fees.

1. You can pay online by going to the Payment Page on the Pan Am Dragon Boat website.

2. Mail Checks Payable To Citrus County Education Foundation or CCEF

Mail To:
CCEF
PO Box 2004
Inverness, FL 34451

Practices will be scheduled in the week leading up to the event. You will be contacted after you register your team to schedule a practice session. Team registration and payment must be completed to be eligible to schedule your team’s practice.

Team Entry Fees:

20-Person Standard Team

Corporate Team $750
Community Team $750
Club Team $750

10-Person Mini Team
Corporate Team $450
Community Team $450
Club Team $450

2 Team Entries: 20-person and 10-person combo*
2 20 person team $1,300
2 10 person team $850
A 20&10 person team $1050


* Teams may not combine with another team to receive discounted combo pricing

Visiting

Our Festival partners are offering great hotel rates, so come and spend the whole weekend in Citrus County! We have the beautiful crystal clear rivers and King Bay, boat tours, golfing, a Wildlife Park and the world-famous manatees. We are located just 30 minutes off of Interstate 75! Keep scrolling for details on Hotels and Attractions.

Nearby Hotels

Plantation on Crystal River logo and photos of the grounds
Plantation on Crystal River
9301 W. Fort Island Trail • Crystal River FL • US 34429

Venture out to beautiful Crystal River to find the most deluxe resort available in the country! The Plantation on Crystal River has many different activities for all ages of the Dragon Boat Racing team family. Book a river cruise at our Adventure Center, play a round of golf on our championship course, or just relax for the day at our very own, unique Spa Bleu.

And don’t forget! We have casual dining at our 19th Hole Grill, as well as fine dining at the West 82nd Bar and Grill, or you can hang out by the pool with some snacks from the Tiki Bar.

Mention the Dragon Boat Race Event to receive a 15% discount off rate, based on availability. Resort Fee and Taxes apply.

To reserve your discounted room right now, please call 800-632-6262.

For more information and other great specials, visit our website:

www.plantationoncrystalriver.com

Holiday Inn Express & Suites logoPhoto of a Holiday Inn pool
Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Lecanto-Inverness
903 E Gulf to Lake Highway • Lecanto, FL • US 34461

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Lecanto-Inverness is only about 3 miles from the lake and we are offering discounted rates to Dragon Boast Festival attendees.  Just call our hotel and ask for the Dragon Boat Rate of 15% off of our best available rate.  Our rate includes free hot breakfast (pancakes, biscuits and gravy, eggs, yogurt, fruit, pastries, cinnamon rolls, cereal, coffee, etc), free wireless internet, a business center, a fitness center, a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi suites available, flat screen TVs and more!

Mention ‘Dragon Boat Race’ to receive a 15% discount off the published rate.

To book your discounted room please call 1-800-315-2621 or BOOK NOW.

For more information about the hotel please visit: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Inverness-Lecanto

Quality Inn logoPhoto of a Quality Inn pool
Quality Inn Conference Center at Citrus Hills
350 E. Norvell Bryant Highway • Hernando, FL • US 34442

The Quality Inn & Suites of Citrus Hills is only a few miles from the lake and we are providing discounted rates to Dragon Boast Festival attendees.  Just call our hotel and ask for the Dragon Boat Rate to receive a 15% discount off the published rate. Our rate includes free hot breakfast (waffles, biscuits and gravy, eggs, yogurt, fruit, pastries, cereal, coffee, etc), free wireless internet, an onsite salon, a conference center, a heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi suites available, flat screen TVs and more!

Mention ‘Dragon Boat Race’ to receive a 15% discount off the published rate.

To book your discounted room please call 352-527-0015 or BOOK NOW

For more information about the hotel please visit citrushillshotel.com

Comfort Suites logoPhoto of Comfort Suites breezeway entrance
Comfort Suites near Rainbow Springs
20052 Brooks St • Dunnellon, FL • US 34432

The Comfort Suites near Rainbow Springs is located in Dunnellon, Florida just off of Highway 41 and a few minutes drive from Ocala and Crystal River, Florida. Guests at the Comfort Suites pet-friendly, smoke-free hotel will have access to free Wifi, a fitness center, and an outdoor heated swimming pool. You’ll also be able to start your morning off right with a complimentary breakfast, which includes meat, eggs, waffles, yogurt, and fresh fruit.

Mention ‘Dragon Boat Race’ to receive a 15% discount off the published rate.

To book your discounted room please call 352-533-5234 or BOOK NOW

For more information about the hotel please visit: www.dunnellonhotel.com/

Hampton Inn logo
Hampton Inn Crystal River
1103 N Suncoast Blvd • Crystal River, FL • US 34429

Come stay in comfort while attending the Dragon Boat Festival! The Hampton Inn Crystal River provides complimentary breakfast for the whole team and bonus points for Hilton Honors members.

Our breakfast is new and improved as of June 2019 so come taste whats new and feel the Hamptonality!

The dragon boat festival is only 15 minutes away from our hotel and we are right in the middle of Crystal River’s best attractions for after boating fun and festivities. Our staff has all the connections for sunset cruises, guided tours, local dining and hidden gems in Crystal River.

Please mention the Dragon Boat Festival when calling our hotel directly and you will receive 15% off our regular rates! Call direct 352-564-6464

crystalriver.hamptoninn.com

Holiday Inn Express logo
Holiday Inn Express Crystal River

Visiting for the Dragon Boat Festival? We’ve got your perfect stay ready for you. Express Breakfast? Free of charge and has something for everyone to enjoy. Outdoor pool and free wifi as well as a short 10 miles away from the festival location yet close to Crystal River’s beach, family fun spots, adult activities and award-winning local dining.

Please mention the Dragon Boat Festival when calling our hotel and you will receive 15% off regular rates! Call direct 352-563-1111.

hiexpress.com/crystalriverfl

About Citrus County, Florida

Find Florida’s soul in our warm Gulf waters, spring-fed rivers, gentle manatees, fantastic fishing and bountiful lakes. Our affordable hotels and motels include riverside inns and full-service resorts, and charming bed and breakfasts and campgrounds are ready to welcome you. Enjoy unspoiled natural surroundings, championship golf, unique shops, abundant history and endless aquatic adventure in The Water Lover’s Florida. Check out some more highlights…

Photo of the Fort Island Guld Beach boardwalk

Ferris Groves

Over the years, the fruit grown at Ferris Groves has expanded to include Navel and Valencia oranges, Ruby Red grapefruit and Fall Glow tangerines and more.

Photo of two men holding a box of oranges in front of the Ferris Groves building

Citrus Cycle

Withlacoochee State Trail is a wide, asphalt-paved trail 46 miles long, that follows much of the course of the Withlacoochee River. The trail is built on the former right-of-way of an abandoned railroad track and spans several counties as it traverses mile after mile of natural lands and riverbanks.

Photo of 3 cyclists biking on the road

Seasons of Seafood

The restaurants and dining options in Citrus County are as numerous as our outdoor adventures and special events. And our local eateries offer as much charm as the area itself.

Photo of stone crab claws

Meet Our Manatees

Manatees are large marine mammals that favor the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and cluster in and around Crystal River and Homosassa, FL. Find out more.

Photo of two manatees

Information provided courtesy of Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau. For more information on visiting, please go to: http://www.discovercrystalriverfl.com

Dunnellon, Florida

Dream on our River!
Dream of a lazy summer day floating down a crystal clear river as fish swim by and turtles slide into the blue water. Dream of an afternoon, a day or a lifetime in Dunnellon, Florida. Home to a first-magnitude artesian spring formation, Dunnellon is surrounded by two unique waterways that offer distinct adventures and activities.

Visit Our Historic District!
Visit our Historic District and wander through the homes that now house local businesses and antique stores. Visit the specialty bakeries located in the district that are always baking up unusual and delicious tasty treats and unusual bites of goodness!

Seafood….Cuban Sandwiches….Home Style Cooking….Mexican Delights! We have it all!
Our local restaurants host some of the best seafood and other gourmet delights. From gator tail to shrimp baskets come enjoy your meal sitting alongside our rivers. Partake of the best Cuban Sandwiches in the county, back home “home cooking” and homemade pies to die for right here in our little slice of heaven!

Waterways excursion! Travel by tube…kayak…paddleboard or boat! Enjoy the trip!
There are several business catering to our water playground. Rental of tubes, kayaks and paddleboards make it easy and affordable for families to get wet. Or bring your boat and experience the water wonderland at your own pace! The water is always a cool 72 degrees year-round. Get wet or stay dry…no matter how you enjoy our river it will be remarkable!

Hike it! Bike it! Like it!
Take a trip on one of Florida’s newest bike trails that starts at the Rainbow River and crosses over the Withlacoochee River, Dunnellon is a eco-vacationer’s delight! Located at Dunnellon’s Blue Run Park, Dunnellon Trail is 5 mile round-trip excursion will bring you up close and personal to Dunnellon’s phosphate history and the fawn and fauna of the area. Crisscross through tall grass as you pedal or hike towards the winding river. Birds fly overhead and every once in awhile you might share the pathway with a rabbit, a raccoon or even an Egret or Blue Heron as you stop to enjoy the beauty of Dunnellon!

Rainbow Springs, Florida

Waterfalls and Rainbows
Just over the border into Marion County you will find waterfalls and the crystal clear blue water of the historic Rainbow River at Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon, FL. Home to the 4th largest spring in the state, the Rainbow River is a true gem of Central Florida where visitors can enjoy the year-round 72 degree water as they swim among schools of blue shad, curious turtles, and shimmering river grasses. Explore this gorgeous underwater world now in this quick video of the Rainbow Springs Aquatic Preserve.

Photo of a waterfall at Rainbow Springs Park
Photo of fish underwater at Rainbow Springs Park