Blog

Dragons Get Ready to Roar in 2024
21 Sep 2023

Severn Hospice has announced that its colourful Dragon Boat Festival is set to be held on the weekend of July 20th - 21st in 2024 - Could you enter a team?

You can't miss the Dragon Boat Festival if you happen to be in The Quarry over the midsummer weekend when it takes over our stretch of The River Severn in Shrewsbury. This year's two-day event, which is held in aid of Severn Hospice, raised more than  £65,000 and was supported by hundreds of people along the river from the race HQ at Pengwern Boat Club. 

And now the charity has confirmed that next year’s festival will be on the weekend of July 20-21.

Dragon Boats at Pengwern

The water-based festival saw hundreds of people take to the River Severn in Shrewsbury in spectacular 40-ft long dragon boats desperate to take the title of champions.

PJ Aldred, events fundraiser for the charity said: “This year’s event was fantastic. It is fair to say that every team that entered and were on the river had a fun time, not only when they were rowing but also when they were spectating and enjoying friendly banter with the other teams.

“The Saturday winners were Top Goats Deux, from RAF Shawbury, who also won in 2022 and the Sunday winners were Cross Fit Gym. Both powered their way through the water and raised a huge amount of money for us.

The ShropDoc team dressed as pirates

The ShropDoc team at The Dragon Boat Festival in Shrewsbury in July, 2023

“Since July we have been planning for 2024 and seven teams have already signed up, so it just goes to show how popular our Dragon Boat Festival is. But we have many more boats that need filling – so get on board. We work alongside Dragon Boats Events, which are one of the country’s leading dragon boats companies and they supply the boats – we just ask our teams to bring the power, enthusiasm, and desire to raise as much money for us as they can.”

There was a real carnival atmosphere on the riverbanks this year and racing took place between the Pengwern and Shrewsbury School boat clubs. Teams were encouraged to dress up and there were gladiators, Vikings, hippies, sailors, convicts and even a Paddington Bear, complete with homemade marmalade sandwiches. 

Dragon boat going past Shrewsbury School in 2023

PJ added: “While Dragon Boats is a fun event, there is a message behind it – the generosity of the teams taking part, and those people who are spectating and supporting them enables us to care for so many local people who are living with incurable illness and facing heartbreak. 

“The constant support that we have received over the years at our Dragon Boat Festival is quite humbling. Watching hundreds of people take to the water and raise thousands of pounds for us in sponsorship means the absolute world to us. We can’t thank them enough.

“We have a packed programme of events for next year – so keep an eye out for more details.”

To enter a team in the 2024 Dragon Boat Festival, go to https://bit.ly/DragonBoats2024

Boats are made up of teams of up to 20, including a drummer. Registration is £350 per boat but there is an ‘early bird’ offer offering a discount of £50. Teams are asked to raise a minimum of £1000 in sponsorship and everyone who takes part receives a bespoke medal and there is a trophy for the best dressed.