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 presented by Tim Hortons. 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 2022, the festival has raised over 2 million dollars for more than 60 charities including the Barrie Public Library's Future Branches campaign.

Register or Join a Team

Thank you to the entire community for supporting a safe return to the 2022 in person Barrie Dragon Boat Festival! Featuring a slightly scaled back event after the two year hiatus, 20 teams joined us for a wonderful day on the water, paddling in unison to support local causes. Over $30,000 was raised for local charitable organizations, including the Barrie Public Library!

Plans are underway for the 19th annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival! Please stay tuned for event details via the Barrie Public Library's website. Registration details will be available in January 2023. We look forward to welcoming back new and returning teams! Individual paddlers are welcome. Teams are often looking for individual paddlers to join them, so there is no reason to miss out!

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