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PARK 101: Intro to Dragon Boating

PARK 101 is here to help you channel your inner boating beast!


Saturday, April 16, 2022


11:00am - 12:30pm


Dragon Boat Dock
1233 Martin Luther King Jr Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19131

If this is your first time hearing of it, you may be thinking, “sounds fun, but what the heck is dragon boating?!” Even if you’ve heard of it or seen it in action on the Schuylkill, you’ve probably wondered “how can I get in on the fun?!” Well, fear not, PARK 101 is here to help you channel your inner boating beast!

Dragon boating has its roots in ancient Chinese culture. As legend has it, an ancient poet named Qu Yuan was banished from his beloved kingdom so he weighted his pockets with stones and waded out into the Mei Lo River to drown himself. Fishermen took their longboats out to save him, beating gongs and drums, and throwing sticky rice dumplings into the river to try to distract the hungry fish. Sadly, Qu Yuan was never found, but since then, dragon boat festivals have been held in his honor. Today, dragon boat teams race around the world to keep the tradition going (though throwing delicious dumplings into the water is highly frowned upon these days!).

This ancient legend along with modern day customs and techniques are among the many things you’ll learn at this Into to Dragon Boating workshop led by experienced paddler and Coach Susan Lemonick, an experienced paddler and longtime member of the Philadelphia Dragon Boat Association. No paddling experience necessary as this is intended to be a beginner’s workshop. But who knows…with the encouragement of Coach Suzie, you might go from novice level to the top of the podium at the Dragon Boating World Championships! At the very least, you’ll try something different, meet new people, and have a ton of fun.

PLEASE NOTE: the maximum capacity in the boat is 20 paddlers. If you need to cancel, please contact John Sigmund at jsigmund@myphillypark.org as soon as possible so we can offer your spot to others (no refunds for cancellations less than 48 hours from event start time).

TICKET PRICES: Pay what you can – $20, $25, or $30
[ Not sure what to pay? Please refer to this Sliding Scale Pricing FAQ for additional info. ]

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS: If Philadelphia’s parks make a difference in your life – consider becoming a member of Fairmount Park Conservancy and help ensure that Philadelphia’s parks are enhanced for generations to come. PLUS members register first for events and enjoy discounts on park experiences including Treetop Quest, Shofuso and more!


  • Workshop begins with a brief safety talk and on-shore paddling lesson. Expect about 1 hour out on the water
  • Moderate exertion level.
  • Appropriate for adults (18+) only
  • Please dress according to weather conditions
  • Recommended clothing for paddling is soft, stretchy, breathable, and fairly form-fitting
  • Bring plenty of water and a snack
  • Bring bug spray and sunscreen
  • There are nearby bathrooms (port-a-potties)

there is plenty of free parking in the park. As always, NEVER leave valuables in your car! 

COVID-19 PROTOCOLS:  By registering for this event you are agreeing to follow ALL of these protocols:

  • This event has limited capacity. Please only register if you fully intend to attend and let us know if you need to cancel ASAP.
  • Participants must maintain 6 feet of distance from one another during the event.
  • Please bring a mask. We encourage you to wear it if you’re in proximity to others.
  • If you or anyone in your household are exhibiting COVID-19 systems, please stay home.

This event will take place in light rain. In the event of heavy rain or other severe conditions, the event will be canceled and attendees are eligible for a full refund.