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The 19th annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival hosted by Barrie Public Library and presented by Tim Hortons is set to return to Heritage Park this Saturday, August 19. Featuring 26 teams from local businesses, charitable organizations, groups of friends and more, there is bound to be lots of excitement and friendly competition taking place on and off the water!  

“It’s so great to see participants back for the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival,” says Chris Vanderkruys, Director of Business and Development with the Barrie Public Library. “This year’s event welcomes many new teams and paddlers and celebrates the return of lots of familiar faces, some of which have been participating since our very early years! The festival is a tradition here at Barrie’s waterfront and the funds raised have a ripple effect throughout our community through the great work of so many charities, including the library and our Future Branches campaign.”  

Tim Hortons is the festival’s long-standing presenting sponsor. “Having been Presenting Sponsor of the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival for more than a decade, we are excited to once again work together alongside Barrie Public Library to help make a difference in our community,” adds Johnny Mizzoni, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner.?“It’s incredible to see the funds that are raised get re-invested in our community through the many charities who benefit, including the Barrie Public Library.  This is why we are proud partners of Barrie Dragon Boat Festival.” 

Barrie Public Library brings the community together, and this weekend spectators are encouraged to come discover the fun at Barrie’s waterfront and watch the races! Visit Tim Horton’s tent for a hot coffee and Fill Your Cup for Future Branches where all proceeds collected at the event will support Barrie Public Library’s plan to expand into more physical branches in the years to come.  

The Dragons rise at 7:00am with our traditional Waking of the Dragon ceremony, and the first heat of races begins shortly after.  From 9:00am to 2:00pm, all ages can check out the community vendors and drop by the Barrie Public Library Discovery Area to take part in fun activities for the entire family.   


Since its inaugural year in 2003, the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival has raised over $2 million for a variety of local charities including the Barrie Public Library. Donations to the Library have supported the growth of new library locations throughout the city, including the Painswick Branch in 2012 and the Holly Community Library which opened its doors August 2022.?   


Barrie Public Library would like to express our sincere appreciation to all the sponsors, participants, volunteers, community partners and suppliers for all their hard work that goes into preparing for this annual summer event that brings such unique excitement to our city’s beautiful waterfront. Hope to see you there!  

To learn more about the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival click here. To donate to the Library’s Future Branches campaign, click here. 


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