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The Painted Turtle Guesthouse is pleased to be hosting two teams for the 2009 Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival. The guesthouse will be invaded :) by female dragon boaters from the Pink Phoenix and Shibumi Dragon Boat Teams (both teams hail from Portland, Oregon). staying-in-nanaimo-dragonboat-racesOne of the fastest growing sports in terms of participation and live viewing in Canada today; dragon boat racing is also one of the oldest known sports in the history of mankind. Dragon boat races began more than two millennia ago, in ancient China. Legend has it they began as a way to commemorate a popular Chinese politician, who threw himself into the water after being ousted from his position. While the dragon boat festival in Nanaimo British Columbia may lack the colour of an elected official throwing herself off of a bridge, the event is nonetheless a huge attraction for residents and tourists alike. Let's take a look. The festival was started, along with the Dragon Boat Society, in the summer of 2003. Nanaimo residents had witnessed the success of similar rowing festivals across the country, particularly in Eastern Canada. The combination of the success of these rowing events and the natural seascape around Nanaimo seemed like the perfect combination for launching a successful dragon boat event. The original organizers were proved right that first summer, and today the festival still continues to gain momentum. In 2008, there were over 80 teams registered to row in the three day event, which takes place at scenic Mafeo Sutton Park in the heart of the Harbour City. Most (if not all) of the residents of the city take in some portion of the events during the festival. One of the unique things about Nanaimo's Dragon Boat Festival is that all the proceeds (registration and admission fees and so on) are donated to research efforts to cure breast cancer. In this regard, the event has also been a huge success; in 2008 alone over $80,000 was raised in the search for the cure! In 2009, the festival will again be held over three days, from July 10-12. Mixed teams and ladies only teams will both participate, and it is expected that once again thousands of residents and tourists will flock to the park to take in the races, meet the competitors, carouse at the beer gardens and have a great time in general in support of a great cause! It's one of the many great things to do on Vancouver Island. The PTG staff is so looking forward to having these amazing women as our overnight accommodation guests and wish them well in the races!