Barrie Dragon Boat Festival

About the Festival

The Barrie Public Library is the proud host of Barrie's largest waterfront festival, the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival. It’s held in Barrie’s beautiful Heritage Park with races taking place on Kempenfelt Bay. 

This annual event is made possible by the support of our sponsors, volunteers and community teams. From 2003 to 2019, the festival has raised over 2 million dollars for more than 60 charities including the Barrie Public Library.

Register or Join a Team

The 18th annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival is expected to return in person on Saturday August 20, 2022. Please stay tuned for event registration details by visiting our event website: . Individual paddlers are welcome. Teams are often looking for individual paddlers to join them, so there is no reason to miss out!

*Please note, the 2022 Festival will be slightly scaled back in size and follow all necessary precautions as arranged with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to ensure our community's safety.

Important Dates:

May 2 to May 31 - Early Bird Team Registration

June 1 to August 1 - Regular Team Registration

June 1 - Summer Practice Booking Opens 

  • All team registration is $1,000.00, however Early Bird registration includes one complimentary practice!
  • Summer practice sessions will be available to start booking come June 1, 2022.  Additional practices can be purchased. Please email for details.
  • In addition to the team registration fee, all teams are required to raise a minimum $500 pledge towards the charity of their choice. 

Volunteer at the Festival

The Barrie Dragon Boat Festival offers a variety of opportunities for individuals to get involved! We have many positions spanning over the festival weekend and welcome all applications from interested individuals who are 14 years of age or older. Students are welcome to apply, and community involvement hours can be credited.

To see a list of volunteer positions and to apply online, click the link below.

Volunteer Positions and Volunteer Application

About Dragon Boat Racing

There are 20 paddlers to each boat, a drummer at the front that sets the rhythm, and a steersperson at the back that steers the boat. Each race takes about 2 and a half minutes from start to finish, and in that short time anything can happen! Four teams race at a time through several heats, and eventually the winner is recognized at an awards ceremony late Saturday afternoon. There are many different award categories like Spirit Award, Fastest Race, Rookie Team of the Year, Best Dressed and the Divisional Awards.

Check out a video from our 2014 Barrie Dragon Boat Festival and see what it's all about!

More Information

For more information about the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival please visit the festival's web site at