The UK’s biggest multi award winning Dragonboat Festival is back

Bradford Dragon Boat Festival held at Roberts Park, Saltaire promises to be a fun filled family festival with dragon boat racing on the river and landside attractions for all to enjoy including children’s entertainment, charity stalls, catering stands, landside games, bar, live acts and much, much more.

Dragon Boat Racing has ancient Chinese origins and its history has been traced back more than 2000 years. The first participants were superstitious Chinese villagers who celebrated the 5th day of the 5th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Racing was held to avert misfortune and encourage the rains needed for prosperity – and the object of their worship was the dragon. The dragon of Asia has traditionally been a symbol of water. It is said to rule the rivers and seas and dominate the clouds and rains.

Today Dragon Boat racing involves teams of up to twenty paddlers in a 40-foot boat with a drummer at the helm, paddling frantically to beat the other teams down the course. The drums, shouting and colourful boats all make it an impressive and exciting sport both to watch and to compete in.

At Saltaire, this Friday will be a dedicated day for schools whilst the weekend will see teams from across the region converge once again on Roberts Park to “Race the Dragon” on the River Aire raising money for charity whilst running a wonderful community event.

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 21st – 23rd June 2019

Roberts Park, Saltaire, United Kingdom


Day 1 Friday 21 June: Youth Championships

Day 2 Saturday 22 June: The Lord Mayor’s Appeal Championships

Day 3 Sunday 23 June: Multi Charity Championships

Bradford Dragon Boat Festival is now in its 5th year and raised over £60,000 for for local good causes (registered and recognised charities) in 2018. Bradford Dragon Boat Festival is all about raising money and awareness for charity and working together as one community.

To find out more :

After watching the dragons race why not spend some time exploring the world heritage site that is Saltaire. An exceptionally complete and well-preserved industrial village of the second half of the 19th century, located on the river Aire. Its textile mills, public buildings, and workers’ housing are built in a harmonious style of great architecture, giving a vivid impression of the philanthropic approach to industrial management in the 19th century. Home to the fascinating Salt’s Mill with its wonderful art galleries, shopping and restaurants there is much to see and do at Saltaire.

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