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Over 400 people will be taking to the water at the 15th spectacular Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday June 15.

Twenty-eight crews will race the thirty foot brightly painted Chinese dragon boats three at a time over the 200m course on the River Nene beside the Key Theatre in the city centre, watched by several thousand spectators.

You can get snapped at the event by the ESP Paparazzi crew who’ll be capturing the action on the day!


Races will take place every 10 minutes between 10.30am and 4.15pm and at the end of the afternoon, trophies will be presented to the winning crew, the second and third placed crews, the team that raises the most money for Festival nominated charity, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), the top mixed crew and the ‘best dressed’ crew. EACH is one of many good causes set to benefit from sponsorship raised by the crews and city centre restaurant, Nando’s, has donated a prize meal for the crew that raises the most.

Carol Lester of Festival organisers, Gable Events, told ESP – “We’ve had an influx of new teams this year and are looking forward to another fantastic day, jam-packed with racing and entertainment.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have secured two spectacular flypasts which are due to take place at 13.35 and 15.50 (subject to any weather and operational restrictions). The first will be by a Hurricane and Lancaster of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight that commemorates the vital victory and individual heroism of our pilots in the Second World War and the second is by the Red Arrows, one of the world’s premier aerobatic teams! We are sure that teams and Festival visitors alike will have a great day.”


As well as races every 10 minutes throughout the day and the spectacular RAF flypasts, there’ll be a whole host of family activities on the bank to keep teams and spectators entertained including a large funfair, fun inflatables, face painting and three dance performances from the Allotrope Dance Company at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The Dance Company is based at the Voyager Academy (who have a team taking part in the racing) and the Allotrope Dance Crew, performing at 3pm, is the 4th best dance group in the UK! East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices will also have an information point where you can learn more about what this fantastic charity does and you can keep refreshed at the beer tent and take advantage of a huge variety of tasty food stalls.

Entrance to the Festival is free to spectators and parking is available at the Key Theatre, Bishop’s Road and Pleasure Fair Meadow car parks (standard ‘pay and display’ City Council parking charges apply).

Red Arrows photo – Courtesy of Crown 

Lancaster photo – Courtesy Infinite Images

Dragon Boat photos: Mike Harris and Emma Bothamley for ESP Magazine

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