Ramsey Lake is alive with sweating paddlers, hollering drummers and intricately decorated watercraft today for the 18th annual Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival.
Organizer Chris Gavard said 41 teams of 20 paddlers have registered to take part in the annual event, which got underway at 9:30 a.m. at the former canoe club in Bell Park, and runs until 5 p.m.
This year and again in 2018, the proceeds from the dragon boat festival go to the capital campaign supporting the expansion of Maison McCulloch Hospice. Gavard said he hopes the festival brings in at least $70,000 this year.
Sudbury Hospice Foundation executive director Yolanda Thibeault said her organization is “obviously very excited” about the partnership with the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival.
She and husband, Sudbury MPP Glenn Thibeault, will take part in a team representing Maison McCulloch Hospice.
The hospice foundation is trying to raise $5.1 million to expand the local hospice by 16,000 square feet, from its current 10 beds to 20.
According to the Sudbury Dragon Boat Festival Facebook page online pledges have already reached $22,500.
Be sure to check back with Sudbury.com for the total raised at the event, as well as a full list of winners.