NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Practices have begun in preparation for the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival along the Cumberland River.
Practices kicked off Tuesday for the 8th annual festival, which takes place on September 6. About 50 teams, consisting of 1,000 paddlers, have signed up to compete to compete in the Dragon Boat Race.
The event takes place along a 250-meter stretch along the Cumberland River, in front of LP Field. The race benefits the Cumberland River Compact.
Members with the group said the event is more important than just fun on the water.
“For the Cumberland River Compact, we do it to celebrate clean and healthy Cumberland River, so, the segment that we're paddling in is actually fishable and swimmable,” said Mekayle Houghton with the Cumberland River Compact. “So for us, it's a weeklong to celebrate all the hard work that keeps the river clean.”
According to the race’s website, Dragon Boat racing originated in China more than 2,300 years ago.
The upcoming event is free and open to the public.