Traditionally made in the Pearl River delta of China’s southern Guangdong Province, dragon boats are some of mankind’s oldest watercraft creations for competitive team paddling. An integral part of Chinese religious ceremonies and folk customs for more than 20 centuries, dragon boating arrives locally Saturday, Aug. 1, for the Walgreen’s Richmond International Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing. Led by the beat of a drum, teams of 20 synchronized paddlers — including drummer and coxswain — will race 500 meters up the James in 40-foot canoes rigged with decorative dragon heads and tails. Live performances, vendors, food and refreshments will help keep every member of the family entertained between races. The competitive festivities run 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. sportsbackers.org. — Chris Bopst
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