The Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival is one of many festivals back in the capital this summer. After two years of virtual events, a weekend of races is coming back in person, and with some concert performances at night.
On Friday, June 24, the opening ceremony will kick things off at 6:45 p.m., which will then be followed by four boat races. According to a spokesperson for the festival, the best spot to watch the dragon boats is from Mooney's Bay Beach.
Two dragon boats racing in Ottawa near Mooney's Bay Beach. Courtesy of Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
You'll walk from the beach to the park and enjoy a live concert at a natural amphitheatre with opening acts Stoby and Frown Line before The Strumbellas take the stage at around 9:30 p.m.
The races will hit the water early for the rest of the weekend where they will start at 8 a.m., so you might want to drop by sooner than later to watch these powerful teams row toward their winning goal. You can watch even more Canadian artists perform on Saturday night, with acts like Rebelle, Steve Neville, and Serena Ryder scheduled to rock out on the stage.
Other performances and events throughout the weekend include a LEGO display, art showcases, a dragon lion dance and food vendors. You can indulge in BBQ chicken, gourmet sausages and tacos, with BeaverTails or ice cream for dessert.
Besides the typical dragon boat races, there is also a special event with Wa'a, which are traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoes. For the first time ever, too, there will be a Dragonfly race exhibition where you will see two-person dragon boats compete against each other on the water.
Tim Hortons Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon boat racers paddling to the finish line at the Ottawa summer festival.
When: Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26, 2022
Address: Mooney's Bay Beach & Park, Ottawa, ON
Why You Need To Go: You can soak up the sun on the beach as you enjoy paddlers racing in dragon boats, along with free concert events and some food vendors.