Our Culinary Contest judges this year had a tough task, tasting a lot of food in a short time and deciding which menu items were best in three categories, including a new one, "Dragon's Choice," for use of the Year of the Dragon theme.
The winners were:
BEST IN SHOW
The Orange Crunch
The overall top award this year goes to a first-time vendor, which served Filipino food including their crunchy orange Empanadas and Lumpia eggrolls, with a polished food cart facade.
Dragon Boat Sampler (Korean marinated beef, pork, and chicken "race paddlers" served in a hollowed-out daikon radish carved into a dragon boat, complete with a kimchi drum in front!)
Rice Noodles with Beef Skewers
Steamed Pork Bun
Aloha Shave Ice
"Dragon's Breath" Hawaiian shave ice with Li Hing Mui plum flavor
Taiwanese Red Bean Shaved Ice
Here are the final results of the weekend's races at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to every team and every paddler for making this year a success! We'll see you on the water next year:
FLAG CATCHING BOATS
1ST PLACE: Steel Dragons, Self-sponsored (Dubuque, Iowa)
2ND PLACE: FlamethRowers, Lockheed Martin
3RD PLACE: Parker Paddlers, Parker Adventist Hospital
1ST PLACE: Genki Denki Kai, Self-sponsored
2ND PLACE: Lao Buddhist Temple Youth, Lao Buddhist Temple
3RD PLACE: Denver Foundation, Denver Foundation
1ST PLACE: Unestoppable, Self-sponsored
2ND PLACE: Great Wall Chinese Academy, Great Wall Chinese Academy
3RD PLACE: Wellness Warriors, Mental Health Center of Denver
1ST PLACE: Global Village Dragons, Global Village Academy
2ND PLACE: Raytheon Lighting Dragons, Raytheon
3RD PLACE: Visit Aurora, Gary Wheat
1ST PLACE: Rising Tide, Forbes Mergers & Acquisitions
2ND PLACE: The Groundworkers, Groundwork Denver
3RD PLACE: OCA Dragonflies, OCA
1ST PLACE: Asian Connection Colorado, Wells Fargo
2ND PLACE: Prologis, Prologis
3RD PLACE: CenturyLink Speeders, CenturyLink
HONG KONG STYLE BOATS
COMPETITIVE A DIVISION
1ST PLACE: Solid Steel Dragons, Self-sponsored (Dubuque, Iowa)
2ND PLACE: Rocket Dragons, Lockheed Martin
3RD PLACE: Austin Coolers, Self-sponsored (Austin, Texas)
COMPETITIVE A DIVISION
1ST PLACE: Flying Dragons, Self-sponsored (Denver)
2ND PLACE: PASCO Fighting Dragons, Philippine American Society of Colorado
3RD PLACE: Spirit of Cambodia, Spirit of Cambodia Cultural Alliance
RECREATIONAL A DIVISION
1ST PLACE: H2Row, Denver Water
2ND PLACE: Chinggis Warriors, Self-sponsored (Denver)
3RD PLACE: Agua Libre, Denver Language School
RECREATIONAL B DIVISION
1ST PLACE: WagenKamp’s Frozen Fishsticks, Wagenlander & Heisterkamp's LLC
2ND PLACE: Quality in Everything We Crew/Phantom Dragons, Ernst & Young
3RD PLACE: The Denver Lions, Lions Club of Denver
RECREATIONAL C DIVISION
1ST PLACE: University of Colorado Denver, University of Colorado Denver
2ND PLACE: DaVita All Stars, DaVita
3RD PLACE: Hmong Tigers, Self-sponsored (Denver)
NOVICE A DIVISION
1ST PLACE: Walmart, Walmart
2ND PLACE: Durian Love, Global Refuge
3RD PLACE: Denver Zoo, Denver Zoo
NOVICE B DIVISION
1ST PLACE: Kaiser Permanente, Kaiser Permanente
2ND PLACE: Raytheon Rowing Racers, Raytheon
3RD PLACE: Blind Ambition, Self-sponsored (Portland, OR)
NOVICE C DIVISION
1ST PLACE: CO-03, Disaster Medical Assistance Team
2ND PLACE: Frito-Lay, Frito-Lay
3RD PLACE: The Wailers, SWCA
8. Feel the delicious spray of one of our misting tents in front of our Main Performing Arts stage. Just don't close your eyes for too long and miss one of many Main Stage performances!
9. Slurp down a Vietnamese iced coffee from one of our Taste of Asia food vendors--or try a less caffeinated Thai iced tea!
10. Drink lots of good old fashioned water! Hydrating people since the beginning of civilization, water works with your body to regulate your internal thermostat. For cold bottles, visit one of our Pepsi booths our two Taste of Asia Food Pavilions, in the Beer Garden, or by the Main Performing Arts stage.
11. When you've been walking around for a long time, take a break under the shade of our Find Zen tent! Enjoy some inner calm AND cool while watching one of our demonstrations on Tai Chi, Qigong, Reiki, and gentle Taoist exercises.
12. Create your own mobile shade with one of these beautiful parasols from the Marketplace (it's cool for guys too)!
If you're thinking about visiting the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival for the first time, you might only know a couple of things about CDBF: It's hot, and it's hard to find parking.
Pshaw. It's hot at other festivals too, and they haven't taken the steps we've taken this year to cool you down. Plus, we're providing hassle-free parking at Sports Authority Field at Mile High for a mere $5 per car and shuttle bus service to and from the festival.
You may have seen the local social web buzzing with the news. It's official: Actor John CHo, "Harold" in the Harold and Kumar comedies, and "Sulu" in the Star Trek franchise reboot, is going to be at the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. He'll be registering voters in the Organizing for America booth in the Marketplace from 2-3 pm 1-2 pm. (Update: Check the link to the Facebook page for the latest schedule; it's changed several times since Cho's appearance was announced.)
The details are listed on the Facebook page for OFA-Colorado's "Weekend for Action" event.
Cho's appearance is a reminder that Asian Americans can make a difference in elections. A Pew Research Center Study last month found that Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. According to a May article in The Atlantic, this enthusiasm for voting can translate to decisive blocs in critical swing states. APIAVote, a non-partisan organization working to increase participation in the political process by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, reports that Asian Americans are expected to vote in record numbers.
Yet, the Asian American vote has mostly been untapped and major parties and local candidates have not engaged with the Asian American demographic.
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival supports voter registration efforts, especially aimed at the Asian American community, and includes a Candidates' tent where candidates running for office can reserve time to speak and meet with constituents.
The festival urges all eligible voters to register and cast their choice, no matter what their political affiliation!
We currently own four dragon boats, two flag-catcher style boats and two Hong Kong style. The Hong Kong style, in case you don't know, are lighter, sleeker and lower in the water and are used for the competitive races, while the Flag Catcher boats are used for the recreational races. They're fun, and very popular with spectators.
But the two Flag Catcher boats were tired and worn out.
So we've given them a makeover, just so they can celebrate the Year of the Dragon in style and start the next 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac all spiffed up.
They look so nice and clean and bright now that we're sure every team will be inspired to paddle faster this year!
You'll be able to see the newly-painted Flag Catcher boats in action starting 8 am each day this weekend during the festival. The races will alternate between the two styles of boats, and will run until 6 pm Saturday and 5 pm Sunday.
If you've never seen a Dragon Boat Race before, it's an exciting site -- an intense minute and a half of teams paddling in sync to get to the finish line first. In the case of these Flag Catcher boats, a team member has to climb on top of the dragon's head as the boat approaches the finish line, and snatch a flag out of the water. The first team to pull out the flag wins.
Check out the Before and after pics.
1. Sink your teeth into a crunchy icy good Hawaiian style shave ice cone
from Aloha Shave Ice Company
2. Sport a festive fan or straw hat from one of our Marketplace vendors
3. Watch one of over 30 cultural and martial arts performances under the trees
near the Gateway the Asia tent
4. Visit our Main Performing Arts stage and hang out under one of our shade tents with cutting edge, sunblocking, high tech mesh! (It is cooler than we're making it sound)
5. Ward off heat stroke with one of Lollicup Denver's refreshing Taiwanese milk teas,
slushes, snowbubbles, or iced teas
6. Sit back with an ice cold drink at our MillerCoors Beer Garden (providing refreshments for all ages with Pepsi)
7. Take your mind off the sun and cheer your heart out for one of our 51 Dragon Boat race teams!
The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival's staff, Board of Directors and Operations Committee extend sincere condolences to all the victims and families of victims of the tragic shooting in Aurora last night, as well as everyone whose lives have been affected by the senseless violence. We're praying for all of the wounded to recover.
Our hearts go out in particular to Mudra Dance Studio, one of the festival's most popular performers. According to an update posted on the Mudra Dance Studio Facebook page, a family member of a Mudra dancer is one of the injured.
We share in your grief, and the grief and sadness of many families today.
The easy, hassle-free place to park for CDBF is Sports Authority at Mile High, where you can park for $5 per vehicle, then take our free, wheelchair accessible shuttle buses to and from Sloan's Lake all weekend. Park at Lots G, H, I and J, all accessible from 20th and Federal, on the northwest side of the stadium.
The buses will run every few minutes so you won't have to wait. You'll be helping the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival be good neighbors and help reduce our carbon footprint!
Shopping in the CDBF Marketplace is like visiting a bustling bazaar halfway around the world, with craftsfolk selling cool ethnic wares, toys for kids of all ages from here and from Asia, and organizations reaching out to explain their good causes. Politicians will be on hand at our election-year booth to share about their campaigns.
When you're done with shopping, fuel up with a Culinary trip across the Pacific in our TWO Taste of Asia food courts. This year there's more room and less crowds as you choose among Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and lots more authentic Asian cuisines. Don't miss the announcement around 3 pm Saturday at the Main Stage, of this year's Taste of Asia Culinary Contest. Our celebrity judges will be sampling the fare and deciding who will win Best Entree, Best Dessert and Best Overall.