Krista Griffin, the festival’s event chair, is expecting a large turnout of thousands of spectators.
“There will be a lot of action for the whole family,” Griffin said.
More than 600 people will be participating in the dragon boat races, which start at 9 a.m. and run until 3 p.m. All teams compete in both 400-meter and 250-meter races before the top 12 groups are determined. Each boat has a drummer to keep the paddlers in sync.
“Every year the top three spots have been decided by the last second of the race,” Griffin said. “The first and second winning teams were brand new to the sport.”
Races will occur in 10-minute heats with two to three boats competing each time. The boats are supplied by Dynamic Dragon Boat in Knoxville, Tenn. with a head and a tail added on.
Griffin said she is humbled by the outpouring of support from all the paddlers and spectators in the past.
“If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll have to come out and see it for yourself,” she said.
The festival will be free for spectators, with shuttles operating all day to and from the provided parking lots.
2017 marks the last year for the event, which over the years since it started has raised more than $250,000 for the Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Lewes Public Library, according to Griffin.
“It’s been a great time running the festival,” Griffin said.