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Boston Dragon Boat Festival features sunshine and barbecue

The 35th Annual Boston Hong Kong Dragon Festival was held on June 14 and 15 on the banks of the Charles River. Bostonians were able to enjoy delicious Asian food and traditional Chinese performances alongside fierce dragon boat racing on the water.

This year, 62 teams from different groups, such as business networks, Chinese university alumni, clubs and local colleges, participated in the race.

The Cambridge College sponsored team Catch 22 won the club race challenge and the Division A gold medal.

The annual festival is run by volunteers. Every year, hundreds of volunteers come out to the festival to help organize the race as well as set up the festivities along the banks of the Charles. Lina Fu, who has participated on the volunteer committee for several years already, says the festival is always busy and exciting.

“The celebration is a way to let more people know what [the] Dragon Boat Festival is,” Fu said, “but more importantly, to improve the Asian cultural awareness in Boston.”

The food stands as well as the performances, as Fu believes, also provide some recreational opportunities and let people know each other.

Diva Indian Bistro, an Indian restaurant in Somerville, has attended the festival for almost 15 years.

The owner, Amrik Pabla, appreciates the opportunity to teach Bostonians more about Asian culture as well as Asian cuisine.

“People thought Indian food [was] spicy and [were] afraid to eat them,” Pabla said. “But when they tried some here, they changed their thoughts.”

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