Barrie Dragon Boat Festival

About the Festival

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Festival was cancelled for 2020 and 2021. The Library however, invites the community to please 'Save the Date' of August 27, 2022 as our anticipated event date to bring back dragon boating to Barrie's waterfront! Please visit the Festival website for further updates.

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