Dragon boats are returning next year to race in Lewes-Rehoboth Canal in the second annual Dragon Boat Festival, Sunday, Sept. 14, at Lewes Canalfront Park.
Lewes Mayor and City Council unanimously approved the event at the panel’s Oct. 21 meeting at City Hall.
The inaugural event, a fundraiser for Sussex Academy Foundation, attracted 21 teams made up of employees, family and friends affiliated with local businesses. Dragon boats are 46 feet long and have a crew of 20 – 10 rows of two paddlers, a drummer and a steersman.
Mayor Jim Ford said the event was well organized and city officials in a post-event meeting with organizers Gina Derrickson and Christa and Stuart Griffith, evaluated what could be done better or differently.
Ford said race officials worked well with Lewes police, and the site was left clean.
Before approving the event, city officials said they were concerned the races might draw large crowds that could significantly damage Canalfront Park.
No city property was damaged.
“My main concern is parking on private property; it’s not permitted,” Ford told race officials. They assured the mayor that would not happen next year, but did not elaborate on how it would be prevented.
Richard Jundt said people parked as many as 50 vehicles on the lawn of his Pilottown Road home. He said the lawn is damaged because vehicles caused deep ruts and asked city officials for specific plans to prevent damage from occurring in the future.