Solomons Island, MD – Southern Maryland Community Resources (SMCR) is delighted to unveil the dates for the highly anticipated 7th Annual Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival, set to take place on Saturday, August 19, 2023, along the picturesque Patuxent River at the Solomons Island Riverwalk.

Cedar Point Federal Credit Union presents this remarkable event. It promises a day of exhilarating dragon boat races, team-building activities, and entertainment, all while raising funds for much-needed programs that support individuals with disabilities.

The Solomons Dragon Boat Festival has become a celebrated event in Southern Maryland, attracting teams from local businesses and special interest groups. The event, a joint effort between SMCR and 22Dragons from Montreal, offers a unique opportunity for participants to engage in friendly competition and camaraderie, with each dragon boat team comprising 16 paddlers, a drummer, and a trained steer person.

“The Dragon Boat Festival is not just about the races; it’s about fostering inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with developmental differences,” stated the organizers. “We are thrilled to continue this tradition and create opportunities for people with disabilities in Southern Maryland.”

The race day, which runs from approximately 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is exciting as teams compete for the grand prize while supporting a noble cause. Spectators are encouraged to join the festivities and cheer on their favorite teams as they navigate the Patuxent River with synchronized paddling and unwavering determination.

Leading up to the races, practice sessions are open to the public from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.. They can be observed from the Solomons Riverwalk, providing a glimpse of the preparation and dedication displayed by each team.

The festivities do not end with the races; the event also features three distinct areas by ancient traditions: Team Village, Vendor Village, and Dragon’s Nest Children’s area. Attendees can enjoy a wide array of entertainment, including food trucks, artisan vendors, and kid-friendly activities, ensuring there is something for everyone to relish.

Adding to the excitement, this year’s Dragon Boat Festival marks the celebration of SMCR’s 10th Anniversary. A special “Dotting of the Eye Ceremony” will be held on Friday, August 18, at 6 p.m. outside Our Lady Star of the Sea on Solomons Island to commemorate this milestone. The public is invited to join in this unique experience, where participants will help paint the eyes of the dragons to awaken the slumbering beasts.

All proceeds generated from the event will support SMCR, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that aims to create opportunities for people with disabilities through social, recreational, and educational programs that promote accessibility and inclusivity.

In their efforts to ensure the success of this remarkable event, SMCR invites businesses and individuals to consider becoming sponsors or forming teams to participate in the Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival. Those interested can find more details on the event’s official website or contact the organization directly at

As the 7th Annual Solomons Island Dragon Boat Festival approaches, excitement builds within the community as it eagerly anticipates this day of unity, fun, and support for a worthy cause. So mark your calendars, join the cause, live the adventure, and be a part of the most exhilarating event to grace Solomons in 2023. As the dragon boating community famously says, “Paddles Up!”

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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