The Dragons are Coming! The Dragons are Coming!

Dragon boats that is.  On August 10th and 11th Oriental will once again play host to the increasingly popular sport of Dragon Boat Racing. This annual event continues to draw ever larger crowds as Dragon Boat Racing has become the fastest growing sport in the country.

Dragon Boats are long, low riding ‘canoe’ type boats with – you guessed it – a dragon head at the bow and a dragon tail at the stern.  Twenty-two team members man each boat with a steering member controlling the tiller and a beater keeping rowing tempo on a massive drum at the bow of the boat.  Teams from all over come together for two days of wet and wild rowing and compete in exciting relays to claim top honors. 

The racing teams are made up of all ages, sizes and skill levels.  Race organizers are particularly pleased that several military teams will participate this year including rowers from the Navy, Coast Guard and the Marines. And all the fun occurs right beyond the hotel lawn on the waters of the mighty Neuse River!  Come stay with us and you will have a front row seat!

The fun begins with a colorful parade of the various team members in all their finery.  With team names like “Pirates for Paws,” “Miami Dragon Slayers” and “Dragon Riders,” you just know that you’ll see pirate and other colorful costumes.  After the parade the serious work of winning begins.  Teams compete in continuing relays until they are all eliminated save one.  That team is declared the winner.  There have been some surprising upsets in years past both figuratively and literally as vessels occasionally capsize!  But it’s all in good fun and safety as the only ‘fins’ you’re likely to see on the river are those of the local dolphins watching from the deeper waters beyond.

Come join us for a fun weekend!  Relax in our comfortable lawn chairs on the front lawn where you will enjoy a front row seat for all the activities.  For more information go to