La PORTE — More than 400 paddlers will be competing in the ancient Chinese sport of dragon boat racing on Saturday on Stone Lake, 350 Grangemouth Road, La Porte.
Races start at 9 a.m. and will be held rain or shine. Races will not run in lightning.
The canoe-like vessels are adorned with a dragon head and tail on the bow and stern. Teams of 16-20 paddlers row in unison to the beat of a drummer who helps them stay in time. A steersman helps paddlers stay on course. This adrenaline-pumping action requires synchronicity and finesse more than power to win.
This year’s teams are: Southshore Skipping Stones, First Church of God, CLH, P.C., La Porte Hospital, American Licorice, Jambalaya, American Renolit, NIPSCO, Applegate & Company, CPAs, Franciscan Health Michigan City, UPS, Journey Church, Chicago Blades, Horizon Bank, La Porte High School Wrestling and Choruses, New Prairie High School, Michigan City High School, Marquette High School and LaLumiere High School.
The area immediately adjacent to Stone Lake will be closed to traffic on Saturday. The closures will help to promote safety to expected foot traffic. The closures are: Grangemouth Road from Waverly Road to Lake Shore Drive; the parking lot adjacent to the boat house, and 1600 feet of water way. The closures take place from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Dunebrook invites the public to view the exciting dragon boat races from the shoreline at Stone Lake, and enjoy child-friendly activities, face painting and food vendors throughout the day. The first heat is expected to compete at 9 a.m. Parking and admission is free for spectators.
Spectators can enjoy child-friendly activities, face painting and food vendors from Christ Gospel Church, Packman’s and Redamak’s as they cheer on their favorite team.
Proceeds from the Dragon Boat Races will provide vital support for Dunebrook’s parent education and family strengthening programs, public education programs and the Child Advocacy Center.
La Porte County suffered 373 substantiated cases of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect in 2017. (Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 2018). This is a 62 percent increase in two years.