Zero teams cancel, as Dragon Boat Festival sails through a rainy - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Zero teams cancel, as Dragon Boat Festival sails through a rainy 16th year

Posted: Updated:

Cool temperatures and torrential downpours didn't stop the annual Dragon Boats festival from happening on Barkers Island on Saturday. 

"We're all here in the rain together, having a good time," said Celeste Hemphill, a racer with the A-Team Bucketeers, sponsored by Alltec. 

Torrential downpours started early on Saturday morning, but that didn't deter the dragon boat racers. 

Even though the rain never stopped, the conditions on the lake were smooth sailing. 

"It was just easy going, we got sailing right away, and it felt really smooth as we were working through the water," said Hemphill. 

More than 70 teams registered for the Festival, which is dedicated to raising donations for the Twin Ports Rotary Clubs and the Essentia Health Foundation.

"This festival is put together by three rotary clubs. Superior, Harbortown and Sunrise, and this is Superior's largest festival. Everything that we raise here goes to support local charities," said Dragon Boats Festival co-chair Kelly Peterson. 

Providing that support is why non of the 70 teams canceled, despite the pouring rain.

The A-Team Bucketeers say that thought never crossed their mind. 

Hemphill said, "One-hundred percent, we weren't going to cancel. We had our entire team, all of our backups showed up. It's a great cause, we all wanted to participate in it, so there was no canceling for any of us."

That spirit is what organizers say has kept the festival running for the last 16 years. 

"It warms my soul. This is one of the best things that Superior has to offer. I'm a Rotarian, we give back to the community, that's what this festival is about, so the more people that come down to the island, and come and play, the more money we can give out to all of our local charities," said Peterson. 

Organizers say throughout the 16 years this event has been held, they have raised over 1-million dollars for Essentia Health. 

The fun continues until 10 o'clock Saturday. 

Powered by Frankly