Colour and energetic rowing will flood into Docklands when London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival arrives.

The one-day extravaganza will see 40 teams battle it out in the iconic boats accompanied by booming drum beats.

Made up of club, corporate and amateur rowers, the competitors will range from absolute beginners to seasoned paddlers who will all be aiming to win one of the six cups.

Up to 10,000 visitors from across the UK and overseas are expected at the 22nd edition of the free, family-friendly event. It is due to be held from 10am to 6pm on Sunday, June 25 at the London Regatta Centre in Dockside Road.

They will be able to watch the races and visit the accompanying food festival which will represent the culinary tastes of South East Asia.

Dishes served up will include bao buns from Bite Mi, Vietnamese coffee from Cà Phê VN Saigon Street Cafe, Chinese comfort food Jianbing from Mei Mei’s street cart, popcorn chicken and rice pudding cake from east London Taiwanese cuisine shop Canaan Taiwan Xiao-chi and freshly fried Thai cuisine from Newdlez Pad Thai.

Visitors to the Newham festival will also be able to sample Japanese street food from Pochi, Singaporean street food from Lion City Kitchen, Vietnamese food from Hanoi Kitchen, Malaysian food from Enak Enak and Ajinomoto Foods Europe and Caribbean food from Jerk Spice.

Dessert will come courtesy of Churros London and handmade Italian ice cream company Surrey Ices truck, while drinks will be available at the Fentimans Botanical Bar.

Entertainment will include live music on the East West Festival stage, presented by DJ Alice from Spectrum radio, and showcasing new artists from both sides of the globe.

Expect to see BBC Introducing-supported indie pop band The Atmospherics, songwriter-based electronic duo Ooberfuse, and award-winning Brits School attendee, Chris Gadd.

Also appearing will be well-known martial artist Master Wong, who boasts more than one million YouTube subscribers, and over 150 million views on his channel.

And there will be traditional Chinese lion dancing.

This year’s event forms part of a series of events organised or supported by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London (HKETO) marking the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Organised by London Chinatown Lions Club , the event started as a fundraiser for schools and has now grown into a major date in the east London calendar with money going to the club’s nominated charities.

This year the raffle features prizes including a pair of return flights to Hong Kong courtesy of Cathay Pacific and dinner for two at Hutong at The Shard.

How to get there

London Regatta Centre is situated at Dockside Road in Royal Docks opposite London City Airport, on the opposite side of the docks and next to Connaught Bridge.

All Dragon Boat team members, visitors, guests and sponsors are encouraged to use public transport where possible.

The nearest train station is Royal Albert using Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

The car park located directly outside the London Regatta Centre is reserved for VIP guests and voucher holders only.

Car parking vouchers will be available at the entrance to car parks in exchange for a £3 charity donation to London Chinatown Lions Club.


8.30am Team Boat Registration

10am Racing Competition Starts

11am Entertainment Commences

12.30pm Opening Speeches and Lion Eye-Dotting Ceremony

5pm Dragon Boat Racing Finals followed by Trophy Presentation

5.30pm Raffle Draw

6pm Close

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