The 1st annual Vancouver St. Patrick's Day parade takes place on March 13, 11am to 1pm on Granville St. Starting at Drake St. and proceeding North to Hastings St. We are parade entry #33 of 60+. This will be the 1st dragon boat ever in a parade in Vancouver, that I know of. For more information, check out www.celticfestvancouver.com
The Taiwan dragon boat is on the trailer – all set to go. The banners are being painted with Gung Haggis Fat Choy and featuring Brave Waves in big bold letters.
Joe McDonald with his band Brave Waves will be riding in the dragon boat playing their wonderful brand of ethnic fusion music that is so uniquely Canadian. Joe, of course, plays bagpipes, Andrew Kim plays guitar. I am not sure who is playing tabla drums… and LA LA (Sharon Hung) will be joining them on vocals. – 3/5 of the group featured in the CBC television special Gung Haggis Fat Choy. Check out www.lalamusic.com and www.bravewaves.com
Miniature Highland Dancers will also be coming out in their dance costumes. The “little people” are actually aged 7-10 years old and are dance students of Angus MacKenzie. “The kids are really excited to come join the parade,” beamed Angus, the former World Champion now turned dance instructor and mentor for Cameron and Vincent Collins who were both featured at the Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.
Paddlers from the Gung Haggis Dragon Boat Team are coming out to sit in the boat and “paddle.” As well, they will walk alongside the boat with their paddles. I will give the mini-highland dancers all paddles and “leprechaun hats” – I think all the kids deserve to have something to go home with after walking in the parade! If you would like to join the Gung Haggis dragon boat team – Call me Todd: at 604-987-7124 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Taiwan dragon boat arrived in Vancouver in late August – 10 days before the 1st Taiwan Dragon Boat race in Canada on Saturday, September 6, 2003. Taiwan Dragon Boats are unique from the Hong Kong style dragon boats, in that the heads are much larger. This is to support a person designated as the “flag grabber” who must position their body on top of the dragon head and reach out with their hand to grab a flat upon crossing the finish line.
If they grab the flag before the other team – they win. If they miss the flat, they have to go back for the flag. This adds another level of skill to dragon boat racing other than just going fast. You have to be able to steer the boat accurately towards the flag, and have somebody grab the flag. Both require good athleticism and eye hand coordination. Check out www.dragonboatassociation.ca and www.canadatcf.com