UPDATE: Big Blue Dragon Boat Race moved to Copeland Park - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Big Blue Dragon Boat Race moved to Copeland Park


 LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - High water and strong currents have moved the Big Blue Dragon Boat Race from the Mississippi River to the Black River at Copeland Park.

Mayo Clinic Health System organizes the race and said they've been working closely with the Coast Guard in regards to river conditions and safety.

"Given current and forecasted water conditions, and because the safety of our participants is our primary concern, organizers have decided to move the race to an alternate location," a representative for Mayo Clinic Health System said in a statement.

The race will still take place on Saturday, July 5th.

Fifty-two teams consisting of 22 paddlers each will begin with Qualifying Races at 8 a.m. Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 11 a.m. and the breast cancer survivor ceremony will take place approximately 3 p.m. Semi-finals and finals will be taking place all afternoon. Awards and closing ceremonies will take place around 5 p.m.

Updates will be posted on the Big Blue Dragon Boat race website: http://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/la-crosse throughout the coming week.

Here is a map of the layout at Copeland Park.

Organizers have a few things for you to keep in mind as you head to watch the race:

  • Each team will have its own “campsite” at Copeland Park.
  • The teams will compete four at a time beginning at 8 a.m.
  • There will be plenty of space for spectators to watch and cheer on their favorite teams.
  • Dragon Boat memorabilia such as shirts, hats and jewelry will be available.
  • Volunteers will be available throughout the park for anyone who has questions.
  • Franciscan Healthcare’s Big Blue dragon will be dancing through the park through the day.
  • Dragon Tales storyteller will be featured on the Children’s Stage approximately 1 p.m.
  • Enjoy several giveaways, including an Asian fan to help cool off, and a sport your dragon spirit tattoo.
  • We’ll also have bigger and better Chinese streamers for kids to enjoy
  • There will be onsite food and drinks available for purchase.
  • Our new location has a playground for kids.
  • We will have plenty of room for spectators.


Please park in the Veteran’s Freedom Park location, the Boat ramp behind Hardee’s, or in the streets near Copeland Park. Volunteers will be at those locations to assist.

(Copeland Park will have very limited parking and will only be open for boat traffic and vendors of the event.)

For visitors needing assistance with walking, they can be dropped off by the baseball field entrance to help those needing assistance or can only walk short distances.

Funds from the Big Blue Dragon Boat Race will promote breast cancer survivorship through Center for Breast Care programs at Mayo Clinic Health System focusing on prevention, detection and treatment.

Funds are used to provide free mammogram screenings for women in financial need and comprehensive care and support for all patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

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