Dragon boat club adopts a ‘mascot’

Duane Hicks

How do you train a dragon?
Just ask the Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Club.
The group recently received a mascot to match its namesake—a 10-metre long, fiery orange, red, gold, and purple “dragon” made of fabric and other materials.
Having ordered it special from Beijing, China a while ago, club secretary-treasurer Annely Armstrong-Thorstad was thrilled to finally get it in the mail last Wednesday.
“We thought it would be a great way to get people’s attention,” she reasoned as she admired the articulated head of the dragon, which is similar to one you might see in a Chinatown parade.
The eyes can light up and blink, and the mouth moves. The long body, which ends with a tail of “flames,” is held up with sticks.
The entire dragon can be operated by six people.
Armstrong-Thorstad said the dragon was custom-made in China to look as close as possible to the club’s logo.
“They did such a great job. It’s so close to our logo,” she enthused.
“It’s beautiful,” echoed Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Foundation president Jennifer Greenhalgh.
“I didn’t think it would be that big,” chuckled foundation director Paul Pirie, later noting the dragon turned out even better than he expected.
The plan is to bring the mascot to parades, dragon boat races, trade shows, or any other events where the dragon boat club and festival will be promoted this year and those to come.
In addition to drawing attention to the local club, the dragon also might be an activity in itself.
For example, it’s possible children will get a chance to operate the mascot during this year’s Boundary Waters Dragon Boat Festival, which is set for Saturday, June 27 at the Sorting Gap Marina.
The club is expected to hold a contest to name the dragon in the near future (more details to be revealed soon).
For more information on the dragon boat club and festival, visit www.boundarywatersdragonboat.com