To celebrate Chinese New Year, the official launch of the 2018 Milton Keynes dragon boat festival took place last Friday at Melis Restaurant in Central Milton Keynes.
MacIntyre is the new official charity for the 2018 Festival which is now in its 17th year.
Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history and the launch was timed to coincide with the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog.
Crews entered into the festival will be invited to raise sponsorship for MacIntyre. The national charity based in Milton Keynes supports more than 1,500 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability and/or autism.
Gable Events brought a 30-foot dragon boat along, fully dressed with paddles for guests to try out on dry land and have a go at beating the drum.
Following the launch, Melis provided a fantastic Turkish buffet lunch for all to enjoy.
Head of fundraising, Claire Kennedy, is delighted that MacIntyre is the official Festival charity for 2018.
“Having been involved in previous years, we know what a fantastic event this is for everyone who takes part and their families and friends. Every penny raised will be used to benefit the people we support in the Milton Keynes area,” she said.
All it takes is 17 enthusiastic people to form a crew – 16 paddlers and one drummer. There is always space for new crews to enter, or for companies who have not entered for a few years to have another go and relive past glories. The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment will be provided, no previous experience is required, and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races.
The 2018 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival will take place at Willen Lake on Saturday 23 June!
For further information visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes
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