About Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival

About_Us The Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival is held in Citrus County, on Lake Hernando, with our latest event held on Saturday, November 11, 2017. A committee of dragon boat paddlers and event planners, county representatives and tourism professionals were on hand to bring fun, competition and recreation to one of Citrus County’s beautiful parks.

We want to thank the teams that participated, all the food vendors, all that were a part of our Arts and Crafts Village, our wonderful volunteers and the community for making our event the success it’s meant to be.

Our event included local and regional teams coming together to race against each other in a series of heats. Novice teams are provided with instruction and all of the necessary equipment to race. For more information about forming a team, CLICK HERE.

The event began at 9 am and concluded at approximately 5 pm. Spectators gathered in the beautiful Lake Hernando Park with their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the festivities.  Everyone was able to enjoy live music, food and drink vendors, arts and craft vendors and a kid’s play area with inflatables! A fun day was had for the whole family!

We want to thank everyone who participated and helped make our event possible. All the teams, both local and those that came in from out of town, our sponsors, our volunteers, the Elks Club, the Chamber of commerce, our vendors and especially the community for coming out.

We would also appreciate feedback on how we can make the festival better, so please contact Andy at eventsinmotion@outlook.com or call 352.201.6500. Our goal is to make the Lake Hernando Dragon Boat Festival the GO TO event for dragon boat racing.

We also created a Photo Gallery of the event on race day for your enjoyment.

This festival is focused on community involvement and charitable giving. This event is currently being hosted by the Citrus County Education Foundation, with all of the event proceeds going to the work they do for education here in Citrus County.

The Event Beneficiaries

Citrus County Education Foundation

Created in 1988, the Citrus County Education Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose sole mission is to support public education, prekindergarten through twelfth grade, in Citrus County.

Mission Statement: To support our Citrus County public schools in order to enhance learning and improve personal development for present and future generations.


Foundation for Success Mini Grants: Classroom mini-grants that enhance curriculum and instructional activities, with a focus on STEM/Literacy and Health & Wellness.

First Library: “Read-ins” with preK and kindergarten classrooms throughout the school year, allowing each student to build their own “first library” with 3 (K) or 6 (preK) books given out annually.

Recognition for Students & Staff: Annual Galaxy of Stars event, honoring teachers and school-related employees of the year. Also, student recognition ceremonies, scholarships for aspiring teachers and high school seniors, and other district events including teacher Digital Learning Day.

Supplemental Funding: Support for a myriad of programs based on annual funding needs, including AVID; Camp Citrus & Camp Invention; SAEC mini-grants; school-to-work & STEM programs including Aqua-culture & MakerSpace; Science Fairs & Math Field Days; Special Olympics; student career days & Pathways to Success; district support for Fine Arts including sponsorship of the Festival of the Arts student zone, All County Chorus & elementary school plays; Successmaker; intensive reading programs; student health, safety & leadership programs including Link, Youth Leadership Citrus & onsite student resource rooms; web-based curricula & classroom technology enhancements including Aleks, BrainPOP, Gizmos, Teach Town, 3D printers, technology cart and sponsoring Star Tech nights at all of our elementary and middle schools for parents.

About Dragon Boating

5788896With a history of more than 2,500 years, the sport of dragon boating originated in ancient China. The legends include warring states, radical politics and fierce loyalty and passion written poetically by one man – Qu Yuan. This man was exiled from the land that he loved, and in turn committed suicide in the Miluo River in a final form of protest against the corruption of his era. During an attempt to save Qu Yuan, the locals took to the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles to keep the water demons and evil spirits away.

Modern day dragon boating has few elements to this ancient tale remaining. However, it has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport, bringing together millions across the globe annually. Festivals with traditional Asian flare and culture are commonplace alongside a dragon boat race in recent years. High level competitions have also been organized since the mid 1970s.

But the sport’s growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level. Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising, and tool for corporate team building. Local communities combine these two concepts to breath new life into their waterfront areas, and to stimulate their local economy.

Teams are formed with 18-25 people from all walks of life. Any age, size, ability and gender can learn to paddle on a dragon boat team. 20 paddlers are seated in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers. The paddler’s job is to paddle in unison with the entire team. The drummer’s job is to beat the drum in sync with the paddlers and to motivate their team to the finish line. A steersperson (provided by the festival) stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.

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