Barrie Dragon Boat Festival

Please note: The 2021 Annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the cancellation notice here

Dragon Boat Month presented by Tim Hortons

In place of this year's annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival, we are excited to celebrate Dragon Boat Month presented by Tim Hortons! Throughout the month of August, the community is invited to check out a variety of dragon-themed online programs such as Dragon Tales Storytime, Draw Your Own Dragon, Meet the Dragons Mini Shows, Hook a Dragon, Coffee Chats with local dragon boat athletes and so much more!

Starting August 2, families are encouraged to pick up a Dragon Boat Month Grab & Go kit available at both Downtown and Painswick branches while supplies last. Inside you will find an assortment of activities including the Tim Hortons Colouring Contest where four lucky winners (two per branch) will be selected at random to win Timbits for a year! We're also holding a Float the Boat Instagram Contest with crafts generously provided by Moore Packaging, where one lucky winner will be selected to win a BPL Prize Pack which includes one $50.00 Tim's Card compliments of our friends at Tim Hortons. 

For more information, please check out our Events Calendar. Paddles up!  

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. 

Join us for a fun, family-friendly and FREE day with local vendors, live entertainment, exciting races, kid’s activities, health zone and a beer garden. 

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.

Join a Team

Please stay tuned for future event registration details by visiting our event website: . Teams are often looking for individual paddlers to join them, so there is no reason to miss out!

Early Bird Rate: TBD 2022
Regular Rate: TBD 2022

  • Early Bird registration includes one complimentary practice. 
  • All teams are required to raise a minimum $500 pledge towards the charity of their choice. 
  • Additional practices can be purchased at the Library for $110 each, which includes a steerperson. Practices typically take place from mid-May to the end of August. 

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