Paddling teams and trailered boats are already arriving as the countdown is almost over for Folsom’s first ever Dragon Boat Festival and races this Saturday. Taking place on the waters of Lake Natoma at Black Miners Bar, this unique event is already off to a strong success in what is expected to be an adrenaline-pumping experience for participants and specators alike.

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“We currently have nine boats, these are teams of 17, so 153, total,” said Powerhouse Ministries Lisa Levine. Saturday’s event is being hosted by the local faith based non-profit as the first fundraiser of its type in the city.  “We have limited individual paddler sign ups still available. Our vendor village is full, but signs up for next year’s event will begin in January 2025.”

Wednesday evening, a handful of dragon boats were hitting the water at the Black Miner’s Bar boat launch. It was the first of two available practice sessions for seasoned rowers, as well as training for those that are entering the event for the very first time.

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Spectating the event is free and can be done along the shores of Lake Natoma in the proximity of Black Miner’s Bar recreation area. Those wishing to enter the park and visit the Vendor’s Village can do so as well, with the standard State Park’s parking fee or a season pass at the entrance to the park.

Opening ceremonies for the event kick off at 9.a.m. Saturday before teams hit the water in a series of competitions. There will be various prizes for the event, not only for the best times but also for teams who have raised the most money for the cause through pledges.  Dragon Boat teams consist of 16 paddlers and one drummer on board as tradition. To add some fun to the event, there will even be a drummer costume contest, so there are many ways win in this event, even for those taking their maiden voyage.

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Registration is still open for a limited number of individual rowers to join a team. Complete event and registration information can be found by VISITING THE WEBSITE HERE. You can also inquire by phone at 916-983-0658.

According to Powerhouse Ministries, the event will include a variety of activities, which will also include food trucks on-site and various vendors in a festival atmosphere all surrounding the day of competition and entertainment.

All proceeds will benefit Powerhouse Ministries, a regional non-profit with a mission to end cycles of addiction, abuse, and incarceration. “When we come together as a community, we can provide a larger, immediate impact for people who are in their most desperate moments,” said Josh Levine, Co-Executive Director. 

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Founded in 1992, Powerhouse Ministries leads the region in providing no-cost residential recovery programming for men, women, and teens. Powerhouse Ministries offers a wide range of services designed to meet people where they are. Some of the resources offered to all residents are relapse prevention, counseling, licensed trauma therapy, case management, life skills, job readiness, and family reunification. In addition to their recovery centers, Powerhouse Ministries serves on the front line, providing homeless prevention services in the Sacramento region with their community care center. You can find more information about this amazing event and Powerhouse Ministries at www.phmfolsom.org.

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Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan