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New York dragon boat festival draws big crowds

Director of HKETONY Steve Barclay took part in the eye-dotting ceremony.

The 26th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York, held on August 6-7 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, drew in a massive crowd, eager to partake in the festivities of an ancient Chinese tradition.

Neither the heat nor the warning of thunderstorms was enough to dampen the excitement in the air, and the park saw thousands of families and spectators check out the sponsors’ booths and watch the dragon boat races.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York (HKETONY) Steve Barclay noted the increasing popularity of the festival. “To cater to the increasing demand, my office is pleased to add six new dragon boats to the festival’s fleet this year,” he said.

The HKETONY festival booth attracted spectators and paddlers alike.

This year’s festival featured more than 200 teams and 2,500-plus participants from across the U.S. and Canada, all vying for prizes, including cash as well as round-trip air tickets to Hong Kong and hotel stays in the city.

A scene from a kung-fu movie set served as a humorous photo panel backdrop for festival visitors to strike a pose.

At its festival booth, HKETONY showcased Hong Kong’s unique culture, which included two photo panels and life-size illustrations of the city’s vivid street scene: the unique Hong Kong tram and a scene from a kung-fu movie set. Visitors to the festival also had access to various temporary tattoos and giveaways featuring HKETONY’s logo.

The booths gave the races a run for their money, enticing the crowds with delicious traditional food, exciting games, tons of free promotional items and more.

Temporary tattoos were a hit with children at the festival.

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