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Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival In Queens Draws Thousands Of Competitors

FILE - Competitors paddle out to the starting line at the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Meadow Lake in the Queens. (Photo by Mario Tama/Gettty Images)

FILE – Competitors paddle out to the starting line at the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Meadow Lake in the Queens. (Photo by Mario Tama/Gettty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The rain won’t keep thousands of dragon boat racers off the water in Queens this weekend.

The 21st annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival features 2,000 competitors and 165 teams. Racers paddle long, narrow boats with dragon heads on the front across Meadow Lake.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports 

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe says this is no small event. 

“These people are paddling furiously across Meadow Lake,” said Benepe. “There are 18 rowers in each one sitting side by side, there’s a drummer in the front who pounds out the beat to which they row and someone’s steering in the back.”

The event features  two days of racing, live performances, martial arts displays and Asian food. Many of the teams even have corporate sponsors.

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