This year the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival has much in store for everyone! We’re not just racing colorful 40-foot dragon boats this weekend (as awesome as that is). This two-day (Sat & Sun: 10AM-5PM), admission-free festival has grown to include a colossal offering of cultural activities, games, creative arts, crafts, exhibits, entertainment, live dance and music, performance and immersive experiences for both kids and adults in a family-friendly space..
Kaiser Permanente Health & Wellness Pavilion - Begin your day at our sponsor’s main attraction where you’ll find no shortage of activities. While here, ready yourself for the day by lathering on fresh sunscreen at the sunscreen bar, get a dragon air-brush tattoo, and take a silly picture at the photo booth!
Opening Ceremony - If you are fortunate enough to be here on Saturday at 11:30 am, do not miss the opening ceremonies with the traditional blessing of the festival boats ceremony, a traditional Chinese ceremony accompanying dragon boat races all over the world for thousands of years. Buddhist monks from the Oakland based Fa Yun Chan Temple community will help awaken the dragons and bless the racing in this magical ceremony you won’t soon forget. They’ll be joined by lion dancers and the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir singing the National Anthem.
Dragon Land for Children - Dragon Land is back and bigger than ever! We’ve found great new partners in Oakland – the Junior Center for Art and Science and Playworks! For all the details, go to our Dragon Land page. We’ll have everything a child could want – from arts and crafts and free games with prizes to science activities to face painting, obstacle courses, dodge-ball and more!
Cultural Performances - The festival has plenty of entertainment for you to enjoy! Experience the nimble lion dancing, rhythmic and powerful Taiko drummers and enjoy the offerings of our many talented dance and cultural music groups. We have Chinese folk dancers, and Hula/Tahitian, Indian, Filipino, and Hip Hop dancers all to excite your senses. You’ll sit in awe and be fascinated by our award-winning Chinese acrobats, yo-yo stunt artists, martial arts displays, and magicians. See a schedule on our Entertainment page.
Eating and Shopping - When you need a break from the exciting games, adventures, art, and entertainment, we’ve made plenty of space for you to relax, enjoy the weather and to refuel with delicious eats from one of our many purveyors of yumminess, from Asian BBQ, Indian street food, organic hot dogs, and roasted corn to frozen custard bars, bubble tea, and all natural popsicles. You can also buy merchandise available through a wide variety of sellers of arts, crafts and sports items. There is something for everyone whether it is a unique handmade craft, Chinese cultural gift or athletic or paddling gear. Find out more about the many great restaurants that Oakland has to offers at Visit Oakland's Best Restaurants.
With all it has to offer, the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival guarantees a special time and wonderful memories for all who attend. Be sure not to miss it. Whether you are a little kid, a big kid, or just a kid at heart, you’ll have the time of your life!