Barrie Dragon Boat 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. Over the past 15 years, the festival has raised over 1.85 million dollars for more than 60 charities including the Barrie Public Library.

2018 Festival

The 16th annual Barrie Dragon Boat Festival will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2018. 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. 

Register a Team

Team registration begins in January 2018. Visit for more information! 

Haven’t experienced dragon boat racing before?

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.

Join a Team

Up to 60 teams compete in the festival, and each team races and raises money for their charity of choice.  Each team that pays a registration fee pledges to raise a minimum of $500.00 for their charity. Teams are often looking for individual paddlers to join them, so there is no reason to miss out! There are only a few team spots left, so sign up today.

Teams that registered before the early bird deadline (May 31) will receive two complimentary practices. Practices typically take place from mid-May to the end of August.

View a video from our 2014 Barrie Dragon Boat Festival and see what it's all about.


Register now

Visit our Barrie Dragon Boat Festival website to get your team started.

Early Bird Registration (January 1-May 31) - $1,000/team

Regular Registration (June 1 onwards) - $1,200/team

Additional Practices - $90/practice

For more information about the Barrie Dragon Boat Festival please visit the festival's web site, or contact: 

Katelyn Lees
Associate Manager, Philanthrophy and Community Engagement
Barrie Public Library
705-728-1010 ext.7039 

Battle of the Books 2017/2018

Battle of the Books is a free annual book-based trivia tournament that promotes literacy and a love of reading. It’s for elementary school children in Barrie and Oro-Medonte in grades 4 to 8.

Participating schools will put together a team of students who will work together to read as many books as possible from our annual book list. The Teacher-Librarian (or other adult acting as team coach) can assist students by helping to divvy up the book list, hold practice trivia games, or complete other games and activities that will encourage the students to read as many books as possible, work together, and have tons of fun.

The Barrie Public Library will help support teams by visiting them at their schools for additional fun and games, and to help teams prepare for the semi-battles and Grand Battle. Additional visits or meetings can be arranged with library staff upon request. Both the Downtown and Painswick locations will have multiple copies of each book on the annual book list that students can sign out on their library cards.

This year, the semi-battles will be held at the end of April or early May; semi-battles take place at both the Downtown and Painswick branches. Teams that progress beyond the semi-battles will compete in the Grand Battle in early May at a location that will be announced at a later date.

To find out how to participate or for more information, contact Kalina Cook at

Battle of the Books Materials

Introduction and Rules 

Book List