Oshkosh Dragonboat Race and Festival ends after 10 years

Alison Herrmann

The Oshkosh Community YMCA announced the Oshkosh Community Dragonboat Race and Festival will not continue next year in a press release on Feb. 10. The Oshkosh Community Dragonboat Race and Festival has been a part of the Oshkosh community for the past 10 years. The race and festival worked alongside UW Oshkosh to raise money for financial need-based scholarships. According to the press release, the race and festival is being canceled due to financial struggle. “In recent years, however, the cost of the event exceeded the outcomes, organizers said, which led to the decision to cancel the event,” the press release stated. UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said he and the University are thankful for everyone who has had a part in the festivities over the years. “For years, we have welcomed teams of 25 paddlers to our 250-meter stretch of the Fox River, and these teams have vigorously raced and competed for multiple awards and titles,” Leavitt said. “We have entertained children, families and race spectators with a festival-like atmosphere in the Leach Amphitheater, and we sincerely appreciate all those who have attended the event in the past 10 years.” YMCA CEO Tom Blaze said in the press release that it was not an easy decision to conclude the event. “It was a tough decision to bid farewell to the Dragonboat Race and Festival with the conclusion of the 2015 race and festival, and we hope the community continues to remember the excitement and uniqueness of this race and festival,” Blaze said. Blaze said the success of the event would not have been possible without the help and support of the community. “We would like to extend a ‘thank you’ to our committed sponsors and community volunteers – you truly helped make this race and festival possible,” Blaze said.