GADSDEN, Ala. — Dragon boats racing will soon be churning up the water in a northeast Alabama river.

The 250-meter Dragon boat races are being planned for Aug. 19 on the Coosa River, The Gadsden Times reported.

The key to success is people working and paddling together, making dragon boating the ultimate team-building sport, organizers said.

Teams consist of 20 paddlers, one drummer and a steersman, plus 3 alternates, said Suzanne Scharfenberg, president of Gadsden-Etowah Habitat for Humanity.

“Come cheer on your favorite team on Aug. 19 behind Chili’s on Rainbow Drive in Gadsden,” she told the Gadsden newspaper.

Seventeen teams are expected to participate in the event, which raises funds for Habitat for Humanity. The proceeds from the festival will support the house building projects of Habitat for Humanity in Etowah County.

The opening ceremony will feature Boys Scouts presenting the colors, CharACTers performing the National Anthem and the ceremonial “dotting of the dragon’s eye,” organizers said.

The event will also include food and market vendors, a drummer’s parade, music, and children’s craft activities.

Admission and parking are free, organizers said. Boat owners are also invited to anchor out in the water in the no-wake zone and watch the races.

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