All aboard the dragon boat at Peterborough shopping centre ahead of annual festival

Representatives from the festival's organisers, Gable Events, sponsor IKEA and chosen charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in the dragon boat at the Serpentine Green shopping centre
Representatives from the festival's organisers, Gable Events, sponsor IKEA and chosen charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in the dragon boat at the Serpentine Green shopping centre
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Shoppers at Serpentine Green had the chance to climb aboard a dragon boat last Saturday, with fewer than 100 days to go until the annual Dragon Boat Festival.

The 30 foot boat, complete with carved dragon’s head and traditional drum, was on display in the shopping centre. Shoppers were able to sit in it, try the paddles out for size and beat out time on the traditional drum.

The dragon boat festival event at Serpentine Green

The dragon boat festival event at Serpentine Green

Representatives from the festival’s organisers, Gable Events, sponsor IKEA and chosen charity Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice were on hand to answer questions and pose for photos.

Entries are now open for the 21st Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival, which will take place on Saturday, June 8 at Peterborough Rowing Club, Thorpe Meadows.

More than 40 teams are anticipated to take to the water in authentic dragon boats – each with a drummer at the front beating out time – to race each other.

As well as the races, which are expected to be watched by several thousand spectators, there will be plenty of bankside entertainment and stalls for all the family.

The event will raise vital funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, which provides expert palliative care and support for people living with life-limiting conditions as well as supporting their families. Last year’s festival raised more than £35,000 for the charity.

Hospice community fundraiser Nilesh Patel said: “We are thrilled to be the charity partner for the Dragon Boat Festival and can’t wait for the big day.

“Dragon boat racing is so much fun – it works really well for businesses or groups as a team building day, as a charity challenge or a family fun day.

“You don’t need previous experience – just plenty of fighting spirit! All funds raised will make sure we can carry on providing our specialist care and being there when it matters for local people and their families.”

For more information and to enter the festival, visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/peterborough. Contact the Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice fundraising team with any queries on 01733 225999.