The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival

With origins dating back 2300 years, dragon boat racing is a fun and unique cultural event.  


Have you ever had the desire to put together a team of rowers to compete in a Dragon Boat Tournament?  If so we have got the perfect event for you! 

Whether you prefer to be an active participant or a casual spectator, the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival is a great event. It’s happening Saturday, November 14th at Lake Hernando Park in Hernando, which is a 10-minute drive from the Villages of Citrus Hills. 

What is Dragon Boat Racing? 

If you haven’t had a chance to see a Dragon Boat Race before we think you’ll enjoy this.  It’s now one of the fastest growing sports in the country.

Dragon Boats are long and skinny and are comprised of either 10 or 20 paddlers.  One person steering the boat, and a leader, called a drummer, who sits at the front of the boat pounding on a drum to keep all of the paddlers paddling in sync. 

If visions of Olympic rowing or college crew come to mind, you’ve got the basic idea. 

The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival 

 As one of the largest Dragon Boat events in our area, The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival attracts teams of paddlers from all over Florida. There will also be dozens of craft and food vendors, as well as musical entertainment and lots of fun happening in the team village. 

If you are looking to visit the event on Saturday, you can plan to arrive any time between 9 am and 5 pm on Saturday, November 14. 

There will also be a big kickoff party on Friday, November 13th from 5 pm to 9 pm. The party will be held in the nearby Elks Club and will feature live music from the band 4 Play and an Italian dinner served from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. 

Forming a Dragon Boat Team 


If you would like to participate in The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival, anyone is welcome to form a team no matter their level of experience. 

Teams can be formed with 10 or 20 paddlers. The entry fees are $425 for a 10-person team and $700 for a 20 person team. There are also discounts available for anyone entering multiple teams. 

Everything your team needs will be provided, including paddles, life vests, boats, drums, and even steerspersons. Your team will also have the opportunity to participate in one practice session and then compete in three different heats. Additional practice sessions can be purchased if you feel your team needs a little more help! 

 Whether you are an experienced Dragon Boat racer looking for new competition, a novice Dragon Boat racer looking for a new way to have some fun, or just a spectator looking for something pleasurable to do on a Saturday in November, The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival offers enjoyment on a number of levels. 

This is one of the biggest events of the year for Lake Hernando Park, so you don’t want to miss it!