This isn't your average lake outing.
The 10th annual River Cities Dragon Boat Festival is once again sailing for Maumelle. On Saturday, June 10, teams of 20 paddlers — and one high-spirited drummer — will descend on Lake Willastein to battle it out with 46-foot-long, Hong Kong-style dragon boats.
In a full day of fun, teams race across the lake to the sounds of their drummer's shouted encouragement, with prizes going to the fastest rowers and the teams with the best costumes. Saturday's schedule also include food trucks and music for the noncompetitors and activities for the kiddos.
Festivities begin the previous night, June 9, in the "athletes' village" with a family-friendly celebration for teams, complete with a full-on fireworks display.
Proceeds from the weekend benefit the Children’s Protection Center, a nonprofit that works with all agencies, from law enforcement to mental health professionals, to provide a coordinated approach to child abuse cases. Last year's festivities brought in more than $150,000, a record for CPC's signature event, and 2023 funds will go toward the creation of a new satellite facility in north Pulaski County.