The latest theory to explain Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster legend has to do with underwater lake tides that allegedly stir up dinosaur-looking debris at the water’s surface. But at the Lure of the Dragons Race, the monsters are tangible and have far more work to do than spooking the occasional tourist.
Dragon-boat racing goes back several millennia, to ancient China. Set against the Blue Ridge-laced backdrop of Lake Lure, the lush mystery comes full circle at the annual event. Thirty-foot long carved boats, manned by more than 30 corporate and community teams, will paddle through Hickory Nut Gorge on June 13, in an effort to win big for the two benefiting nonprofits: Camp Lurecrest and Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach.
The five-year-old race and festival can’t quite claim the longevity of the 2,500-year-old sport itself. But since the beginning – 2011 – proceeds have gone to programs that “improve the quality of life and future of children and youth in the region.”
The heats start at 9 am and wind up around 5:30 pm; lunch vendors will include Amazing Pizza Co., Mike’s Italian Ice, Super Snack Shop, Dancing Bear Ice Cream, and JCK Silver. Call 828-279-1725 or see the festival website for more information.