Two new boats are blessed for the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Two new boats are blessed for the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

Mayo Clinic Health System christened two new boats as a part of the Big Blue Dragon Boat Festival in July.

This is the 4th year of the festival, and to celebrate they added new boats this summer named Rose and Bonaventure. The blessing that was given Wednesday afternoon was designed to provide safe travel during their races.

This year, 60 teams are set to compete on for victory on July 15-16 at Copeland Park. The event was designed to celebrate breast cancer survivors. For participants like Susanne,a survivor of breast cancer, the Big Blue Dragon Boat Race means much more than winning. It's a chance for her to make new friends, stay active, and to create camaraderie with her teammates. 

"It's wonderful having that social connection and especially with others that have been through cancer. You have this common thread that runs through you, so it's been fabulous. It means a lot to me and it's a big part of my life. I have a bulletin board up in my office that has all my buttons, and all of my ribbons that we've won each year."

Dragon boats have their roots in China. They're typically decorated to look like a dragon, and they're powered by people for racing.

Registration is still open for the Big Blue Dragon Festival until June 17. 

For more information on the festival, you can visit their website.

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