Paddles up: 18th Annual Race on the River set for Saturday

Community Featured

More than 40 teams will be racing on Saturday in the Race on the River Dragon Boat Festival.

This year marks the 18th anniversary of Race on the River with more than $2 million raised in support of the three beneficiaries: Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivor’s Society, Special Olympics Northern Region, and Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association.

Opening ceremonies begin Friday at 6:45 p.m. with one of the founders and long-term supporter of Race on the River, and 2019 honorary chair, Joanne Cumminger.

“I am humbled to serve as the honorary chair of the Pictou County 18th Annual Race on the River. This event is very dear to my heart as I was instrumental in starting the Dragon Boating Program with the Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors 20 years ago, never dreaming it would grow to this extent,” she said.

The teams will be introduced and marched in following an interpretive dragon dance, and the ringing of the gong to commence the beginning of another festival. Entertainment will follow featuring The Unknownz and fireworks will take place at dusk, provided by The Town of New Glasgow.

Races begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday with 45 races scheduled for the day. Aside from watching the races, the family friendly festival offers children’s activities by presenting sponsor Sobeys, on stage zumba and musical entertainment, as well as great food being offered by on site food trucks and vendors. The AbreastARiver Dragon Boat Team is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and will welcome nine breast cancer teams in this division this year from all over including Ontario, Newfoundland and New Jersey. The Pink Carnation ceremony is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. and everyone is encouraged to stay and enjoy this heartwarming conclusion to the day.

“We encourage everyone to come down to the river and watch the races. We have five different divisions of races with over 40 teams of 17 participants taking part; the energy and community spirit is evident all day long,” says marketing director Meghan Brophy.

“We are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Women Alike ABreastARiver Dragon Boat team this year as well we thank the Town of New Glasgow for providing fireworks for our Friday night opening ceremonies and encourage everyone to come and enjoy the weekend festivities!”

Members of Women Alike AbreastARiver at the 2018 Race on the river. (File photo)