Previous Festivals

2017 saw the Bradford Dragon Boat Festival enter is third successive year, where it again took place at Roberts Park, Saltaire.  A world famous heritage site, Roberts Park was also host to the two previous years festivals held in 2016 and 2015.

Each year the festival planning team presents a wide range of exciting activities, attractions and features which all the family can enjoy alongside the dragon boat racing action of the river Aire.

Here are a few of the features and highlights from past festivals:

In 2016 ...

Over 10,000 people flocked to Roberts Park in Saltaire in glorious sunshine to experience and enjoy Bradford's latest Community Festival, the Bradford Lord Mayor's Appeal Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday 7th May 2016.  Forty five teams from around the region came to compete in what became, the largest community Dragon Boat Festival ever held in the UK.

What an amazing event this year was!  Fantastic teams, brilliant entertainment, delicious food and very kind weather and loads and loads of money raised for the charity - and we even got a chance to meet and compete with some stars!  What more could anyone want!

We have to say a big thank you to all the contributors across the city who came together and helped to make it all happen and especially to Pulse Radio, Sovereign Health and Schofield Sweeney who have been major sponsors of the event.  Fun, food and exercise...what could be healthier for the body and mind!

Live Muisc and Acts ...
Live Muisc and Acts ...

The Hall Royd Brass Band kept festival goers entertained in true Yorkshire style on the bandstand throughout the day. Bradford Festival Choir, Bradford Magic Circle Magicians and Sleepy Jake & The Duvets also entertained. 


The magicians didn't make anyone disappear but we did hope that the atmosphere would make Dynamo appear!

Did any of you catch the pole fitness dancers by the pulse stage - wow what a performance - definitely have to be very athletic to perform the gymnastics display they did.

Special Recognition ...

Special recognition went to the organising event's company Race The Dragon Ltd. who were involved in much of the behind the scenes planning process for the whole festival.  As well as providing the dragon boats staff and expertise on the day, Race The Dragon also organised all the marquees for the competitor village and the overnight and day time event security. 

 

They also used their in house systems for the team online registration process and provided email and telephone support for the general public.   Race The Dragon also donated the perpetual dragon boat trophy to the City of Bradford.

Food & Drink ...

The multi cultural atmosphere of the festival was further emphasised by a diverse range of ethnic food vendors, ranging from Polish food, German Sausages and Bratwursts, Italian Pizza, French Crepes to name but a few. 

You can’t come to Bradford without enjoying some of the best curry in the UK, so it was not surprising that at the festival there were also a number of Asian food stalls.  Jinnah Restaurants, who were supporting the festival by providing a team banquet for the entire winning dragon boat team had a stall selling large range of delicious Indian food.  Guru Gobind Singh Gurdwara also supported the festival by providing free lunches to the nearly 100 volunteer staff. 

 

MyLahore restaurants were providing a meal for two for the highest fund raiser, as were Napoleon's Casino, who were offering a meal in the casino for the whole winning team.

Emerdale stars Race the Dragon too ...

John Middleton and Chris Chittell from Emmerdale joined the team paddling for Greatsight.net but the fun of it was that the sponsor of that boat, Dr Fayyaz Musa, competed as a team member for the Alpha Dragons!  He thought a little competition with his own team would do him good!  Our hearts were racing - good job there was a doctor in the boat! 

(Picture on the left:  The Lord Mayor's Consort Mr Robert Dodds, Emerdale's John Middleton, Bradford Lord Mayor Clr Joanne Dodds, Emerdale's Chris Chittell and principle festival organiser, John Galt)

Health Body  & Mind ...

Nuffield Health's sports professionals eased the teams into the day with invigorating group warm up sessions whilst therapists provided a sports massage service to competitors and the general public.

Local Bands send Pulses racing ...

Festival goers danced to the beat of the Dhol Players as well as enjoying music on stage from Emily Grant, Analogue Bombs, Ed Stones and The BD3, The 309's, Nervous 'Orse, Hoodoo Operators and of course Rubber Kazoo who closed the event with a bang!

The Competitor's Village ...

Each team had thier own marquee in the competitor's Village

Fundraising ...

Councillor Dale Smith, head of the Lord Mayor's Appeal Comittee fund raising at the Dragon Boat Festival.

Pirate Bar ...

Those pop-Up Pirates serving a jolly pint or two from the Pop-Up Pirate Bar in the main park.

Army Recruitment ... 

Even the armed forces had a presence.

The Big Screen ...

With the start line just out of sight of the spectators in Roberts Park, racing was displayed on the festival's BIG Screen for all to enjoy.  The BIG Screen was also used to display race results and a smaller BIG Screen was used to display safety messages to the thousands of people in the park.

The Champions of Bradford 2016 ...

There can only be one winner and this year the spectacular perpetual trophy sponsored by Race the Dragon was won by Red Phoenix.  It was presented to the Team by the Lord Mayor of Bradford Cllr Joanne Dodds and the consort Mr Robert Dodds.   Roll on 2017 are you ready for the challenge?

2015 ...

Saturday 9th May 2015 saw twenty two teams from across the region come to "race the dragon" in the first ever City of Bradford Lord Mayor's Appeal Dragon Boat Racing Event. 

Even though heavy rain the night before had caused the water level to rise to the point where the fast current made it unsafe to race on the river, the event was still able to proceed due to racing switching to the nearby Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Over two rounds off thrilling racing, the teams raced until just the Grand Finalists were left for one last exciting race.

This race was between The Hamm Elephants, a team of volunteers racing to represent Germany's Lord Mayor of Hamm (who flew over especially to be part of the day), and Appleton Crusaders from Appleton Academy.  The Hamm Elephants, with the day's fastest time were the favourites to win, but it was Appleton Crusaders who just took it on the line.