C.H.A.R.G.E. Dragon Boat Team is the Orlando-based Dragon Boat Club organized by the Chinese American Association of Central Florida (CAACF) 中佛州中美協會 in June 2010. C.H.A.R.G.E. now has 25 committed paddlers and around 14 seasonal paddlers. The team practices every Saturday morning at the Orlando Rowing Club Lake Fairview Park.
In 2013, the team earned their first gold medal at the GWN Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival in Downtown Disney, and C.H.A.R.G.E. team has since followed up with trips to Atlanta, Jacksonville, Puerto Rico, Sarasota, Space Coast, Tampa, and Tavares in this 11 years.
C.H.A.R.G.E. is comprised mostly of Asian-American crew members. Our mission is to promote this ancient Chinese sport in the community for team building, friendship and a healthy lifestyle. Paddle with C.H.A.R.G.E. on Saturday morning. Newbie gets a free tryout! Contact C.H.A.R.G.E. Dragon Boat at [email protected]
Through the dragon boat and dragon dance C.H.A.R.G.E. reached out to the people of Central Florida from all backgrounds and age groups. The dragon dance not only entertained our audiences, but brought a wide range of benefits to their experiences. The local audiences got to experience the Chinese culture through the dragon dance. All of these work towards a more diverse and accepting the culture, reaching from the new generation to the oldest generation.
C.H.A.R.G.E. make appearances at the Chinese American Association of Central Florida (CAACF) and Chinese School of CAACF Lunar Chinese New Year Celebrations, and CAACF Duanwu Festival in June. Not only this, during other time, C.H.A.R.G.E. was invited to perform and participated in various multicultural events, such as Central Florida Dragon Parade Lunar New Year Festival in February, Winter Park St Patrick’s Day Parade in March, Asian American Heritage Council AAHC of Central Florida Asian Cultural Festival in May, FusionFest in November. These activities enhanced and enriched the experience from both dragon dance members’ and the audiences’ sides.
What is the Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival?
The ‘Dragon Boat Festival’ as it’s referred to in English, or ‘Duān wǔ jié (端午节)’ in Mandarin and ‘Tuen Ng (端午節)’ in Cantonese, is a traditional holiday which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, and this year falls on June 14th.
How is the Duanwu Dragon Boat Festival celebrated in Central Florida?
The Chinese American Association of Central Florida (CAACF) had fulfilled its mission by hosting Duanwu (Dragon Boat festival) every June during the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar, event shared the cultural with the local community, offering workshop attendants a taste of both dragon boat racing and delicious bamboo leaf wrapped sticky rice dumplings called zongzi (粽子), and the Egg balancing is a traditional Chinese practice connect the Dragon Boat Festival in Taiwan. Attendees also learned about the history of behind Duanwu Festival through storytelling and trivia competition.
Last year, CAACF has canceled its planned June event due to COVID-19. CAACF are sad to say that Duanwu Festival will not be able to go ahead in June 2021 as planned, but they look forward to seeing you all again in 2022!