Festival FAQs

1What is the date of the festival?
May 9, 2020. Approximately 8am to 4pm
2Where is the festival?
Brittlebank Park, off of Lockwood Dr., Charleston SC 29403
3How much does it cost to participate?
Each team pays a registration fee of $900. Additionally, each paddler commits to raising $50 through his/her network of friends and family. Paddlers who raise $100+ will receive a participation medal. The victorious teams and individual who raises the most money win glory, accolades, and free registration the following year. You also get to drink from a really cool trophy!
4What does registration include?
$900 registration pays for 2 practices (April 22 to May 8), a 10x10 tent at the festival, lifejackets, paddles and steersperson. It does not include tables.

Teams that raised more than $10,000 in 2019 receive a 20x20 tent.

Teams that raise more than $5,000 by April 12, 2020 receive a 20x20 tent
5How does a team pay registration?
A team can pay their registration one of three ways:  1) pay the $900 fee online via credit card, 2) pay with a check within two weeks of registering (address below), 3)  Each paddler can pay their portion of the registration via credit card on the website ($45.00 per paddler). There are buttons on the bottom of the Festival Home Page to Form a Team, Join a Team, and to Donate to Teams or Individuals!

Captains!!! Please communicate with your team about registration.  It gets confusing when you or your company pays your team registration up front, your paddlers don’t know that, and then they proceed to pay their individual registration online. 
6To whom should checks be made out to?
Dragon Boat Charleston or DBC
7What is DBC's Tax ID Number?
32-0253953
8What is the DBC mailing address?
1643 Savannah Hwy. #261,
Charleston, SC 29407
9Will donors receive acknowledgement of their gift? 
All online donors will receive an automatic thank you note with tax information via email.   If the donor sends a check, he/she will receive a postcard thank you acknowledgement (for gifts over $25).  If you receive a cash donation, you can email Amy the name/amount and address and a thank you card will be sent.
10What is the deadline for cash/check donations?
When you receive check donations, send them to DBC, 1643 Savannah Hwy. #261, Charleston, SC 29407 by April 18th. All checks and cash received after April 18th should be turned in the day of the festival. **Encourage donors to mail checks early and/or donate online!!
11Can teams bring grills, picnics, etc?
Yes, teams can bring grills, food, drinks, etc. to the race venue. No large coolers. There are food vendors at the festival. Grills must be placed in the nearest “grilling area” to your tent.
12Is there a cost to spectate?
No, the festival is free of charge for spectators.
13How are teams made up?
Mixed teams must have at least 8 women. Teams should have 20 paddlers and 1 drummer, but it is recommended to have alternates. (Men's teams have a max of 18 in the boat) All Team Captains must sign a team waiver (available during practice week) that includes everyone on your final roster.

The Charleston Dragon Boat Festival is a community competition for amateur paddlers to raise money for cancer survivor programs. To keep things fair, each team is allowed only 2 traveling paddlers. Traveling paddlers are defined as, 1) individuals who regularly practice/d with a club team, 2) individuals who have participated in races, 3) anyone who has attended a paddling clinic/camp. This rule does not apply to cancer survivor teams.
14How do practices work? 
After the Team Captain’s Meeting in February, and once your team has registered and paid the $900 fee, you will be sent a sign-up link.  You will choose two practices from the available list (during the weeks of April 27-May 1 and May 4-8).  All paddlers are required to attend at least one practice.

If a member of your team cannot attend any of your team practices, he/she can just show up (no need to call ahead) and jump in another team’s practice.
15Drumming Clinics
All teams must have their own drummer.  We will offer 2 drumming clinics at 5:30pm on 5/1 and 5/7. (Wednesdays)
16Drop off and Set up
We ask that you drop off as much as possible the afternoon of Friday, May 8. There will be overnight security. It makes the morning of the festival much easier.
17Tents
All teams will receive a 10x10 tent. Only 5k sponsor teams and high fundraising teams have the option for a 20x20 tent that includes a table. Otherwise, PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN TABLES/CHAIRS. **teams that raise $5000 before April 12 also will receive a 20x20 tent!!
18Awards
Awards are given to top fundraising team (Community and Corporate) and top individual fundraiser. Awards are also given out for best tent décor, best team t-shirt and overall team spirit.  Have fun with it!
19Weather
Festival and festival practices are rain or shine. In the case of high winds and/or lightening, all water activity will be cancelled. A “weather hotline” will be set up in time for practice weeks. 
20What does the money raised go toward? 
All of the funds raised by the festival go toward the cancer survivor programs of Dragon Boat Charleston.  These funds allow survivors to participate FREE OF CHARGE in year-round paddling, in festivals around the country, and in our fitness and nutrition programs like yoga, swimming, indoor rowing, and monthly socials to celebrate survivorship.
21City of Charleston Police Department 
CPD joins with us in ensuring the safety of all. You will not be permitted into Brittlebank with HUGE coolers full of alcohol. No paddling while intoxicated or risk forfeiture. Captains will be responsible for ensuring the sobriety of their paddlers. 
22Racing
It is a 250-meter course. You can paddle “light” with as little as 16 people, but it is not recommended. All paddlers must be over the age of 14. Mixed teams must have 8 women. All paddlers must be sober. You will not know exactly what time you are racing. The schedule for the first heat won’t be emailed out until Friday, May 8. **Each team will participate in Heats 1 and 2. The top 3 teams in each division will participate in Heat 3.

What Our Paddlers Are Saying About DBC

  • Lynda, Cancer Survivor
    "I had no idea when I started paddling with DBC that it would become an essential part of my life. What started as having fun on the water in 2003 blossomed into a network of friends and a support group that kept me sane as I underwent surgery and chemo in 2005 and again in 2007. It’s an escape from the horrors of cancer, where I am accepted whether I am strong or weak."
    Lynda, Cancer Survivor
  • Belinda, Cancer Survivor
    "DBC provides a community that accepts everyone where they are physically, as well as emotionally, and allows them to fully participate in a true sport as a team member. Paddling provides a positive challenge for physical and emotional growth, combined with the beauty of the outdoors and just plain fun. It’s good medicine."
    Belinda, Cancer Survivor
  • Gene, Cancer Survivor
    "Having cancer revealed my physical vulnerability, produced great fear, and threatened my mortality. DBC enhances my physical strength and makes me fearless. The peacefulness of the water, the drum beating in time with my heart, and the communion between paddlers who have all faced a fearful foe, makes me feel immortal."
    Gene, Cancer Survivor
  • Lois
    "Water is an integral part of the Lowcountry. Getting outside to exercise is important for physical health and mental well-being. A person who has had surgery, been stuck in the infusion room or under a radiation machine (cut, poisoned and burned) doesn’t feel like doing anything. It sucks the strength from a person. You feel that you will never feel human again. You feel ruined. Dragon boating is an opportunity to get outdoors and become one with your body again. You start to feel like maybe you can overcome the cancer toll. You note your surroundings and realize what a great lifestyle the Lowcountry has. The exercise helps build your stamina and brightens your outlook on the future."
    Lois
    Cancer Survivor
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