The Dragon Boat Festival is a yearly event here in Ottawa, held each summer at Mooney's Bay. I haven't photographed it before- I seem to have so much photographic material already that there are events I often pass up during the summer- but this year I'll have to take in some of the events. The organization that runs it has an office downtown; it might last a few days, but the event requires work through the year. I passed by that office late last year and noticed that they were doing something in addition during Winterlude: ice dragon boat racing. This event has been done in China, but never before in North America, until a week ago today, which was the last day the ice on the Canal was open for skating. The event was held at Dow's Lake, where I first came across these red lanterns.
One of the dragon boats was on display, while the others were in competition. They were outfitted with skating apparatus beneath the boats for going over the ice. Instead of paddles, the crews used sticks that appeared to have specialized ends to drive themselves across the ice. A lot of people were in attendance to watch, primarily on the east side of the course, where race heats were held, one going south, the next one going north, with crews waiting for their respective heats. I even came across a dog in the crowd.
Here's one of the heats, with the boats coming up from the south end of the course, a two hundred metre race. It looks much harder than conventional dragon boat rowing in the summer, with the crews driving those sticks against the ice to propel themselves forward. It would also be slower than summer time rowing, but it was a lot of fun to watch. Tomorrow I'll show you a different event that was held here a week earlier.