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Silver anniversary of Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York proves golden

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay (center, wearing red tie), joined by Chairman of the New York Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival Henry Wan (sixth from left) and other guests, rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on July 27 to usher in the 25th anniversary of the festival. (Photo credit: Valerie Caviness/NYSE)

The ringing of the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, the dragon awakening ceremony in Times Square and festive color lighting at the Empire State Building on August 8 marked the silver jubilee celebration of the Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York.     

Sponsored by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office New York (HKETONY), the annual festival registered a record number of more than 200 teams competing for trophies in Flushing Meadows Corona Park on August 8 and 9.

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay (right) is joined by New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver (center) and festival Chairman Henry Wan (left) at the dragon awakening ceremony in Times Square on July 7.

The Empire State Building is lit in white, red and green on August 8 in honor of the 25th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed the two days as "Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York Days," and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered his congratulations for the event’s 25th anniversary.

Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay said the festival has grown into one of the largest events of its kind in North America since its initiation in 1991.

Recognized as one of the top 20 New York City area events and festivals, the energy-packed races and carnival are a celebration of music, dance and craft displays of different cultures. It has become one of New York's signature calendar events.

To cater for the record number of participating teams, HKETONY sponsored the purchase of six new boats to augment the existing fleet of 30. HKETONY also funded the rental of a large outdoor TV screen, which provided live screening of the race action as well as videos of the latest "Our Hong Kong" titles. 

A new feature of the land-side entertainment provided by HKETONY was a backdrop of Hong Kong’s Sai Kung seafront designed by American illustrator Michael Sloan. Long queues of families waited to take pictures with the backdrop, a perfect souvenir of a great family outing.

Many local dignitaries joined the dragon awakening ceremonies in July and the opening ceremony on August 8. They included U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York City Councilman Peter Koo, CEO and President of HSBC North America Holdings Patrick Burke, and New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay (sixth from right) and other dignitaries officiate at the opening ceremony.

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay (second from right) and other dignitaries officiate at the opening ceremony.

Visitors take photos with the illustrated backdrop of the Sai Kung seafront at the HKETONY booth.

HKETONY Director Steve Barclay (second from right) thanks longtime supporters of the HKETONY "Dragon Riders" team (from left): Letty Lau, Lucy Chen and Eric Ho.

A snapshot of the races.

The HKETONY booth was popular with the spectators at the festival.

A live broadcast of the race action as well as videos of the latest "Our Hong Kong" titles could be seen on the large outdoor TV screen on the festival grounds.

HKETONY teams swept the top three spots of the Hong Kong Family Invitational Races.

The formidable DCH Racing team won the 2015 US Dragon Boat Open Championships at the Hong Kong Dragon Boat festival in New York, for the seventh consecutive year.

 


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