Dragon boat racing paddles into Monroe - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Dragon boat racing paddles into Monroe

Posted: Updated: May 15, 2012 10:18 PM

MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Monroe's first Bayou Desiard Dragon Boat Festival is here.

"It's something that I saw in another town and I really wanted to bring it to Monroe. You know, we could not have done it without the community getting behind us," Event Planner Ashley Yeldell said.

This dragon boat race will kick off Saturday morning at 7:30. More than twenty teams signed up to compete for the win. Each team will race three times until three in the afternoon.

"Racing like this is not about the fastest or the strongest, it's about staying in synch," Tori Krutzer said.

About two dozen paddlers are on each boat. And to help everyone stay in synch, there's a drummer sitting at the front. Krutzer says that's how you can potentially win the race.

"Literally by staying on beat. That's what they'll have the drummers out there for on Saturday is to keep the rhythm for you because we can't count because we'll confuse everybody," Krutzer said.

This fun-filled event for the family has aims to help boost the economy. Event planners say they're donating much needed dollars to a group hoping to bring some life into Downtown Monroe.

"The Downtown Monroe Renaissance. All the proceeds from this event go to them. That's a group working to revitalize downtown and spotlight downtown," Yeldell said.

Teams will not only be judged based on the race, the judges will also be looking at how fancy their costumes are.

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