Dragon Boat Festival marks 15 years in Tempe

- Dragon boat racing is a Chinese tradition that's been around for more than 2,000 years. But for 15 years, the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival has been gracing the waves of Tempe Town Lake.

Just over 40 feet long and two people wide, dragon boats are the perfect vessel for teamwork. Everyone is learning to move together, think together and most importantly, paddle together.

There's something even almost hypnotic about the synchronization. And it's perfect for corporate co-worker bonding, or even a mother-daughter team like Michele and Isabella Laye.

Michele says for her, learning to work with others has been the biggest lesson.

"How to work with people better because you have to be on a team and even just outside of the team, just the festival, there's a group that we work together to make this thing go," Michele said.

Even learning how to work with her 11-year-old daughter Isabella who says racing has introduced her to new people and places.

"To make new friends and race," Isabella said.

Russ Downs, Director of the Dragon Boat Festival says it's the perfect time to learn with an open house for beginners next month.

"Get a taste of it, see what they like about it. We teach them all of the basics, get them out. From there on, they join a team, and then they start practicing in and out, it's always about the timing," Downs said.

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