Dragons of myth come in all shapes and sizes, but human athletes have pared their real world replicas down to some clear-cut dimensions. A dragon boat is 40 feet by 4 feet, long and narrow and manned by 20 paddlers, sitting two by two. A drummer sits up front, keeping cadence and setting the pace. Standing at the back, a steersman controls the direction of the boat with a single, large oar. It’s a team effort, especially on race day. Visitors to this annual waterfront festival can expect music, performances, food, vendors, arts and crafts, and a keen view of the races along the Connecticut River.
Springfield Dragon Boat Festival: Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All ages. Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, North Riverfront Park, 121 West St., Springfield. (413) 736-1322, pvriverfront.org.
— Hunter Styles