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Fire on the water: It's Dragon Boat time on Lake Superior

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Lots of people think dragons are mythical creatures. They'll be pretty lively on Saturday, though, when dozens of dragon-headed boats take to the water for the 15th Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival.

It takes a lot of coordination for 22 paddlers – plus a drummer in front and someone steering in back – to keep a dragon skimming across the lake.

The impression the choreographed majesty makes might help explain why dragon boat racing is one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world, organizers of the festival in Superior say.

The News Tribune says 70 to 100 teams have been the norm since the Lake Superior festival started, even though only 35 were expected at the first event.

This year's ceremonies kicked off at Barker Island on Friday with the parade of teams – which is a dry-land event.

The boat races start Saturday morning at 8 and teams are divided into several different classes as you can see from last year's results.

There's also food and drink, music, and a fireworks show.

There's no admission fee, although the festival is a fundraising event for the three Rotary clubs in the Twin Ports and for the charitable partner they've selected, the Essentia Health Foundation.

On the day before the festival started, Essentia Health Foundation reported it had received more than $8,000 in donations.

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Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival raises thousands

Roughly 2,000 people on more than 100 teams competed in the weekend's dragon boat races put on by the Twin Ports Rotary Clubs. By noon on Saturday, this year's festival had already raised $60,000, the Duluth News Tribune reports.