Crews prep for Big Blue Dragon Boat races - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Crews prep for Big Blue Dragon Boat races

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – More than one thousand people will take part in the Big Blue Dragon Boat Races Saturday.

Thursday, organizers set up Copeland Park to make sure it's ready for the competition.

Recent storms and high waters moved the race out of Riverside Park this year.

The Mississippi River is a valiant force and unfortunately with all the heavy rains that have occurred and the way the current is right now, it's just a little to dangerous for the boats to be out there,” said Rick Thiesse, spokesperson for Mayo Clinic Health System.

Crews spent the afternoon installing docks and pitching tents.

Fifty-two teams will compete — almost double last year's turnout. All money raised goes to the Center for Breast Care programs at Mayo Clinic Health System.

'It's just something that gets people active, it gets people outside, it gets people to raise awareness. And it builds so much camaraderie for cancer patients and their families and/or the teams themselves that are taking part in the event,” Thiesse said.

Parking will be available at Veteran's Freedom Park, the boat ramp behind Hardee's or in the streets near Copeland Park.

Visitors can only be dropped off by the baseball field entrance.

The races start at 8 a.m.

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