BEMIDJI – The Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival will return for its 15th year this summer with the fun starting Wednesday, Aug. 4 and concluding with race day Saturday, Aug. 7.

“We are excited to bring the Dragon Boat Festival back in 2021," Mike McNiel, Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival co-chair and Lueken’s Village Foods North store director, said in a release. "It’s been such a fun tradition for our community and we can’t wait to get everyone back together again!"

The 2021 Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival is expected to feature all of the fun of the previous festivals, the release said.

Some of the activities expected to take place are the Sanford Health taco fundraiser, the cornhole tournament for the American Cancer Society, the Dondelinger GM Sprint Cup races, and the Dragon Boat 5k for the BHS track and field/cross country teams.

“The festival has become one of the region’s most popular summer traditions and we are fortunate to have such great support from our sponsors and volunteers," Brian Bissonette, Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival planning committee member and festival announcer, said in the release. "They make it all possible and have stuck with us as we had to cancel last year."

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There will also be opening ceremonies, a parade of teams and a race day breakfast as well as live entertainment in the Dragon’s Den.

Team registration is now open and teams can save $100 if they register by June 15. To register, or for more information, visit

“The Bemidji Rotary and Bemidji Chamber are thrilled that the Dragon Boat Festival can return this summer. This is truly a community event that raises money for many great organizations who make our community a better place to live and work," Abby Randall, Lake Bemidji Dragon Boat Festival co-chair and Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said in the release. "It will go a long way to help those organizations as we recover from the pandemic."