Rainier Dragon Boat Festival

2018 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival:                              May 19, 2018 at Thea’s Park in Tacoma!

Photo of dragon boats and tug boat in Tacoma

The Tacoma Dragon Boat Association (TDBA) is pleased to present the annual Rainier Dragon Boat Festival sponsored by MultiCare Health System! This regatta has become one of the premier competitive dragon boat events in the Pacific Northwest. The Festival is sanctioned by the Pacific Dragon Boat Association USA (PDBA), one of three regional affiliates of the United States Dragon Boat Federation (USDBF), which is a member of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF).

Competitive teams from the Pacific Northwest as well as corporate and community teams from around Tacoma will compete! The race course is 500 meters. The race venue is located at Thea’s Park on the Foss Waterway in beautiful downtown Tacoma, WA. The public is invited to watch the races at Thea’s Park.

A team — including a community team — consists of 20 people in a dragon boat. Teams should be prepared to stay at the event all day (from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). We’ll provide more details soon.

Thank you to MultiCare Health System and CHI Franciscan Health for sponsoring this event!

A community team practices for the Rainier Dragon Boat Festival in 2017.

Corporate and Community Teams

Organizations in the Tacoma area are encouraged to participate in this fun event! We will provide coaching and equipment (safety vests, paddles and the dragon boats) for community teams. All paddlers in the community races will receive Rainier Dragon Boat Festival medals!

We will provide three dragon boat lessons for your team to get ready for the race! Last year, 14 community teams raced!

For more information about community and corporate teams, contact Mike Gehrke at 253.307.5355 or tdbamike22@live.com.


Registration is now available for the 2018 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival! Teams will need to fill in a registration form and waiver.

  • Team registration packet: click here
  • Rainier Dragon Boat Festival waiver form: click here

Please print the registration and waiver forms, fill them out and email them to Shiela at smarie7488@aol.com. Thank you.

The entry fee for one adult dragon boat team is $500. The entry fee for one youth dragon boat team is $250. Get $50 off if you sign up three or more boats.

Please pay by check. Make checks out to TDBA and mail to:

Tacoma Dragon Boat Association (TDBA)
PO Box 64862
University Place, WA 98464

Thank you!


Sponsors MultiCare Health System and CHI Franciscan Health participated in the opening ceremony during the 2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival.

The Rainier Dragon Boat Festival is made possible by generous support from our sponsors, including MultiCare Health System and CHI Franciscan Health. Thank you!

Sponsors are recognized on our website, in event materials and at the Rainier Dragon Boat Festival. Sponsors also can enter teams in the community race division. For more information about sponsorship benefits and levels, please see this sponsorship brochure or contact Mike Gehrke at 253.307.5355 or tdbamike22@live.com. Thank you for your support!


Volunteers make the Rainier Dragon Boat Festival run smoothly. We’re looking for volunteers to help on the docks, at check in, and other places during the event day, May 19. As a thank you, volunteers will be able to race in a special dragon boat race at the end of the festival! If interested in volunteering, please contact us at tacomadragonboat@hotmail.com. Thank you for your help!


For questions about the Rainier Dragon Boat Festival registration, please contact Shiela Marsh at smarie7488@aol.com or 253.302.0316 and leave a message. Thank you! Let’s have fun!

2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival

Thank you for a wonderful 2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival, and thank you to MultiCare Health System for sponsoring the event! Here are some images from last year’s festival.

Aerial footage of four dragon boats racing in the 2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival. Drone video courtesy of Metro Parks TacomaDroneWorks, LLC is the photographer.

Community teams compete in this dragon boat race on the Foss Waterway, and a wave sneaks up and pops the dragon head off a boat! Watch the exciting finish! Video by TDBA member Liz Satterthwaite.

Thank you to the corporate and community teams who competed in the 2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival! Check out their team pictures (photos by TDBA member Dorothy Anderson):


Pictures from the 2017 Rainier Dragon Boat Festival are available on Liz Satterthwaite’s photo album on Flickr. Click here.