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Park Rapids Rotary seeks paddlers for Dragon Boat race

The club is inviting paddlers from the community to join the team.

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Paddlers have already begun practicing for the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival races Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6 and 7. The Park Rapids Rotary team welcomes more paddlers to join the team.

The Park Rapids Rotary Club recently acquired a practice boat to use for training team members in anticipation of competing in the Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival.

The club is inviting paddlers from the community to join the team.

“From a distance it may look like a regular rowing regatta,” explains Katy Freitag, who has been leading the charge for the local Rotary Club, “but the dragon boat has a dragon head and tail, up to 20 paddlers, a ‘sweep’ who steers the boat from the back and a ‘drummer’ who sits at the front and hits the drum to keep everyone in sync.”

This summer, Park Rapids team participants are excited to have their own practice boat, a “mini dragon boat,” to use for weekend practice on the Fish Hook River thanks to sponsors who helped Rotary purchase this boat. Sponsors include Dr. David Andersen, Mark Hewitt, Northwoods Bank, Pat Sullivan State Farm Insurance, Northern Cycle, Ed Ranson, Dr. Jeremy Nelson, Park Performance Chiropractic and Freitag, Bloomquist Law Firm, LLC. Continuing sponsorship opportunities remain available as the program grows.

More information on the annual Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival the first week of August can be found at their website: 2021.bemidjidragonboat.com.

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The actual race is short, but intense. Success is defined by the ability to be in sync more than by strength, however all participants will be encouraged to become aerobically, physically and mentally ready to execute intense bursts of activity.

Those interested in becoming a dragon boat team member, please contact Freitag at 612-810-1030 or email kbloomquist@bloomquistlaw.com.

For more information about the Park Rapids Rotary Club, contact membership chair Patrick Sullivan at 218-820-0660 or email him at patrick.sullivan.c57f@statefarm.com.

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