Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp Preview

April 21, 2012 6:00 AM

screen shot 2012 03 19 at 12 02 00 am Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp Preview

Photo Credit: tampabaydragonboats.com

Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp
Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park
601 Old Water St
Tampa, FL 33602

Date: April 23 to 28 (race April 28)
Hours: April 28 – 8:30 a.m. opening ceremonies/9 a.m. race
Price: free for spectators/$375 to participate in camp/race

Dragon boating’s history in Tampa have nothing on 20 centuries of history in China, but the city’s celebration definitely boasts solid competition. A dragon boat, named for the decorative dragon heads and tails affixed to the front and back ends of the boat, is a watercraft propelled by paddling. While dragon boat races have deep spiritual and cultural significance in eastern countries, the races have developed for purely competitive purposes here. The popular Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp will return for its fifth go-around from April 23 to 28. The training week culminates in the 9th Annual Tampa Bay International Dragon Boat Races and hosts 70 teams on the waters of downtown Tampa. This event brings thousands of competitors from all over North America to race on the waters of the Garrison Channel. Paddlers will compete in a 450-meter race with a fully buoyed five-lane course to be Tampa’s No.1 dragon boat.

This race is performed with professional equipment provided by Pan American Dragon Boat Association. This year’s event will be held at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park and the Marriott Waterside. The opening ceremonies will begin on the Marriott Waterside patio, with the first race beginning at 9 a.m.

Both athletes and spectators will enjoy the events in Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park during the races. Asia Fest will be taking place at the St. Pete Times Forum Plaza across the street with vendors open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and additional vendors will be open until 7 p.m.

Proceeds go to support the FACTors Breast Cancer Patient Support Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and The Florida Aquarium. A Breast Cancer Ceremony will be held at 11:15 a.m. to honor the lives of men and women who have lost their lives to cancer with a traditional pink carnation ceremony.

city of tampa Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp Preview

Photo Credit: grams-inn-tampa.com

Nearby Accommodations
Gram’s Place B&B
3109 N Ola Ave
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 221-0596

Click here for rooms and rates

Gram’s Place, located in Ybor City, treats guests like family. Borrow a bicycle and tour the city at your leisure, or rent a kayak and paddle down the Hillsborough River. Live music concerts are given free of charge on weekends. If you get the urge to shop, Channelside is within walking distance, but most guests stay satisfied with the on-site, BYOB bar and picnics in the courtyard.

Behind the Fence Bed & Breakfast
1400 Viola Dr.
Brandon, FL 33602
(813) 685-8201

Price: $69 to $99 per night

Immerse yourself in a peaceful slice of American history. If you’re a history buff or you’re just looking for a quiet place to stay, Behind the Fence is just what the doctor ordered. The buildings and furniture transport guests back to 18th century New England. Even the kitchen serves authentic Amish sweet rolls as part of a continental breakfast.

Related: Great Places to Spend a Rare Dry Day in the Bay

Nearby Restaurants
Bahama Breeze
3045 Rocky Point Dr. E.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 289-7922

Hours: Sun to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Fri to Sat – 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Pricing: $8 to $20

It’s always summer at Bahama Breeze. Enjoy live island and reggae music while sipping on a five-citrus margarita or a pineapple-coconut martini. The lunch and dinner menus include chicken, seafood, steaks, salads, sandwiches and burgers.

columbia restaurant Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Spring Training Camp Preview

Photo Credit: columbiarestaurant.com

Columbia Café
801 Old Water St. ste 1905
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 229-5511

Hours: Sun to Sat – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Pricing: $10 to $20

The Columbia, which serves authentic Spanish and Cuban cuisine, is hugely popular in Tampa. In addition to delicious tapas (small plates), the café also features a full bar and live music on the weekends. All entertainment is family-friendly, so bring the kids.

Related: Tampa’s Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.