Find Top Boat Festivals – Dragon Boat Races – Sailing Races – Regattas This Fall
Boating events remain some of the most popular summer and fall activities around the country. Dragon Boats are relatively new and a colorful addition to water sports. Boat racing has a long history but the drag racing and offshore unlimiteds are so much faster and more powerful than anything in the past. Of course there are lots of race regattas, canoe races, sail boat races and more. There are even colorful sternwheel and riverboat festivals along the Ohio River. Take the family and spend some time at one of these festivals. Whether you spend time on the water or on shore you will have fun.
Centennial Festival Of Riverboats in Louisville, Kentucky October 14-19.
Video of the Louisville Festival of Riverboats:
Advertised as a “Once in a Lifetime Celebration” the Centennial Festival of Riverboats features the Belle of Louisville’s 100 year anniversary. It is the oldest river-style steamboat in the world. The city is going all out as Waterfront Park will host live music, art displays, pirate cruises, fireworks show, night time glowing hot air balloons, and lots of Kentucky bourbon. There are also daily riverboat races featuring the best the Ohio River has to offer. See and ride these riverboats: Spirit of Jefferson, Spirit of Peoria, Belle of Louisville, River Queen, American Queen, and the Belle of Cincinnati. Of course don’t miss the great variety of southern cooked food. The six day event starts on October 14th and ends with the fireworks on the 19th.
Lucas Oil Drag Boat Racing Series Return to Lake Havasu City.
Thunder on the River runs October 10-12, 2014. Spectators can view the drag races from Lake Havasu’s Rotary Park. The Park features a beer garden, vendors, activities and displays. If you have never seen boats drag race you are in for a treat. The Top Fuel Hydro boats can reach speeds up to 260 mph and take 3 seconds to cover the 1000 foot course. These exciting boats also have races in Marble Falls, Texas on August 8-10; Wheatland, Missouri on August 29-31; San Angelo, Texas on September 12-14; and Phoenix, Arizona on October 30th to November 2nd.
The 50th Head of the Charles Regatta Returns to Boston-Cambridge.
Over 400,000 spectators will line the shores to watch 9000 of the top rowers race in the world’s largest Regatta on October 18th and 19th, 2014. The festival features a Rowing and Fitness Expo, spectacular views from the Elliot Bridge and great food at the Weld Exhibition. Concessions are also available at the 10th Annual Reunion Village with beer, food, breakfast and lunch items. The 4 award ceremonies for the fastest rowers is on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Head of the Charles Regatta is a huge event in the Boston area with lots of corporate sponsors including BNY Mellon, Brooks Brothers, EMC Corporation, New Balance, Sierra Nevada Brewing, and over 50 other name brand sponsors.
San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival Returns on September 20-21.
San Francisco hosts their 19th International Dragon Boat Festival. If you have not seen dragon boats you are in for a treat. These are a little larger than some of the Polynesian canoes that have 10 or so rowers. Dragon boats are larger with 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a steer person. Most are colorfully decorated. San Francisco will have over 130 boat team and 3,500 paddlers participating. Amazing for a sport that came to America in 1983 with 3 donated boats from abroad. There are over 50 cities that have dragon boat races in 2014. San Francisco is the largest and completes the experience with a wonderful festival. See powerful Taiko drumming, lion dancing, acrobatics, martial arts, and cultural music. Dragon Land is a 3000 square foot pavilion with free activities for children including balloons, temporary tattoos, games, crafts, and face painting. Enjoy food from vendors featuring Hawaiian, Vietnamese, and seafood cuisine. Bring the family for this September 20-21, 2014 festival.
More dragon boat festivals take place in Philadelphia on October 4th, Jacksonville on September 27th, and Nashville on September 6th. These are just a few of the many events around the country.
The International Canoe World Championships starts on September 5th.
Port Richmond, California hosts the Canoe World Championships at the Richmond Yacht Club between September 5th and 15th, 2014. These are far more exotic canoes that what you may have seen. These are sleek and fast. The championship is held every three years around the world.
The Wheeling Heritage Port Sternwheel Festival is a 3 Day Event.
There are 3 days of summer fun with great entertainment, food, live bands, fireworks, and more. This 12th annual festival takes place on September 11-13, 2014 in Wheeling, West Virginia. Oh yeah there are also sternwheel boats on the river.
The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival Takes Place in Marietta, September 5-7, 2014.
Are you one of the 100,000 people who will attend this annual event in Marietta, Ohio the weekend after Labor Day. See 30-35 sternwheel boats, free events and family friendly entertainment plus a spectacular fireworks show. Event includes a photo contest, games, and oldies car show. The Ohio River Sternwheel Festival began back in 1976.
Clearwater hosts the Bright House 2014 Super Boat National Championship.
Last year 65,000 people lined the shores during this 3 day event. Possibly another 25,000 were on some 3500 boats watching offshore. The boats are 40-50 foot mammoth power machines equipped with turbine engines and F-16 canopies. They reach speeds exceeding 180 mph. These are the big boys on the ocean. They race on a 4.4 mile loop. They are incredible to watch. Some call it NASCAR on water. Spectators should visit Baystar Village at Coachman Park for great food, autographs, and photos. There is a meet and greet on Friday with the race teams. Then a huge parade. Later at the Cleveland Street District is “Blast Friday” music with the John Cafferty and Stombringer playing. Saturday enjoy free sail boat rides or take a paddleboat out. There is lots of ice cream and later the Alter Eagles are the feature band at Bright House Star Spectacular with the band The Killing Floor finishing off the night. Sunday the boats launch at 10 am with parties starting at the Hilton and Hyatt Regency hotels. Also attend the Miss Clearwater pageant. As you can see there is lots of things to do until the event finishes with the fireworks show and the Shepard’s VIP party until 3 am. Oh don’t forget to watch the races during the weekend. The Bright House 2014 Super Boat National Championship and Seafood Festival happens on September 26-28, 2014.
Attend a Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend – Washington
Over 300 wooden boats make the 38th Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival one of the largest boat festivals in the world. Attendance is expect to be around 30,000 people for this 3 day event on September 5-7, 2014. Activities take place at the Northwest Maritime Center. The boats are various sizes of wood boats made in classic styles. There are more than 100 wooden boat events year around in this country. Port Townsend was the first and remains the largest.