10 The Queens Courier • dragon boat • august 6, 2015 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com dragon boat festival s From races to entertainment, festival has it all Celebrating a milestone in its history, the 25th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows Corona Park this weekend features events for the entire family, including an opening day parade at noon on Saturday and the U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship Sunday afternoon. Several new races will be part of the festival program, including the Hong Kong SAR Family Invitational, the Hong Kong Business Family Invitational, the HSBC 150th Anniversary Invitational, and the Municipal Invitational race featuring various teams from our elected officials invited to participate, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim, along with the NYPD, FDNY, DEP and Parks Department. Other special races include the health care invitational, the educational invitational, the women’s invitational and the seniors invitational. This year’s corporate invitational looks to be a good one, with 11 corporate teams participating. There are also special youth, women’s and sponsor races, plus a media challenge and a charity race with $10,000 donated to the charities designated by the competing teams. The charity race participants include HSBC USA, DCH, Flushing Bank and Shanghai Commercial Bank Ltd. Each of them will contribute $2,500 in the charity fund. The main stage near Meadow Lake showcases the best regional multicultural artists and traditional music and dance from across the globe. The ever popular Shaolin Monks return for performances on both days. The New York Daily News brings back the CASYM Steel Orchestra comprised of 90 young members between the ages of 7 to 21. The Empire City Casino is also providing some exciting new talent. In addition, the festival will feature demonstrations of traditional Asian folk arts and crafts, booths staffed by sponsors and many community-based organizations; and an enhanced food court offering new vendors and several different ethnic cuisines. Multicultural Radio Broadcasting will be on hand offering a live radio broadcast both days. The Sing Tao newspaper, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is offering activities for the entire family, including a look at past photo entries and a preview of this year’s annual photo contest, which is open to all photographers. The festival will also include booths from sponsors such as the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, which aims to foster closer business and cultural ties between Hong Kong and 31 eastern states of the U.S. HSBC, in celebration of its 150th anniversary, is featuring a historic 150th anniversary photo respective in their tent and sponsoring a 150th anniversary invitational race along with a special premier tent with banking professionals on site to share the benefits of relationship banking. Emblem Health, Toyota, Nielsen, Geico, UPS and AARP are also sponsoring the festival and will have a presence on site. The New York Daily News and the Empire City Casino are providing exciting performers for the main stage. Many other of our sponsors are also returning with very special activities. Nonprofit tent representatives will be on hand from the Queens Library, the China Institute, AARP, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Museum of Chinese American Art, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the New York State Department of Health, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Bayside Power Squadron Boating Safety, the Alley Pond, the New York Historical Museum and New York Queens Hospital to promote their various programs.
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