Dragon Boat Festival set to make a splash in Crawley

One of the team's at last year's festival
One of the team's at last year's festival

It’s one of the most oar-some charity fundraising weekends of the year.

The annual St Catherine’s Hospice annual Dragon Boat Festival is bursting back into Tilgate Park on Sunday (September 8).

The thrilling event, which is in its 17th year is expected to attract 3,000 people.

It is a popular one in many of the local community’s calendars. The racing kicks off around 10am with plenty to keep you and your family and friends entertained all day.

Go along and cheer on more than 30 teams, made up of local businesses, as they sail across Tilgate Lake and race to become Dragon Boat Champions 2019.

For those relaxing on the shorelines, try your luck at traditional fête games like hook a duck, tin can alley and the popular garden tombola. Spring into action on giant inflatables, get glittered up with tattoos or glitter hair, take some snaps in our photo booth, and tuck into tasty food from onsite food vendors.

When you’re done, kick back with a refreshing drink from the onsite bar, and listen to live music from local artists.

As part of Live at the Lake, on Friday evening there will be the popular tribute music festival starting from 5pm. On Saturday there will be a family event with gates opening at 12 noon. There will be music through until around 8pm.

Sophie Peckham, community and events fundraising manager at St Catherine’s said: “We’re really looking forward to our annual Dragon Boat race. And hope lots of you will join us for what is always a fantastic day out.

"It’s really inspiring to see the camaraderie and efforts of our Dragon Boat teams and we’re looking forward to cheering everyone on including our very own team of nurses and hospice staff. Currently, St Catherine’s can only care for one in three local people who need hospice support.

"But we have ambitions to make sure that in the future everyone who needs St Catherine’s care can have it, because nobody should face death and loss alone. By supporting this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, you'll be making sure more terminally ill people in your community have expert care and support when it’s needed most. We look forward to welcoming lots of you to Tilgate Park for this wonderful event.”