Dragon Boat crews ready to make a splash at festival

Feb 07, 2020

GABLE Events and MacIntyre are celebrating Chinese New Year by inviting entries into the 19th Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival. 

This popular annual event returns to Willen Lake in Milton Keynes on June 27 and more than 40 crews are expected to battle it out in brightly painted Chinese dragon boats over the 200 metre race course, watched by several thousand spectators. 

Business MK is proud to once again be the media partner for this year’s Dragon Boat Festival, along with MKFM.

To find out more and for details of how to enter, visit www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes

New for 2020, the Festival will be using smaller 30ft dragon boats for crews of up to 11 with reduced entry fees to make it easier for companies and organisations of all sizes to enter teams.

Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history, dating back 2,000 years to the Kingdom of Chu, where fishermen used their paddles to stave off vicious fish in a valiant attempt to save drowning warrior poet Qu Yuan. Their efforts failed and in Hong Kong the Tuen N Dragon Boat Festival reenacts this tragic event every year.

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2020 is the Year of the Rat. People born in this year are believed to be energetic, outgoing, enthusiastic and high achievers… all important qualities for dragon boat success in June.

This spectacular team event at Willen Lake is open to everyone. Each crew comprises up to ten paddlers, a beating drummer at the front of the boat and a steering helm – provided by organisers, Gable Events – at the tail end. The dragon boats and all racing equipment are provided, each team receives three races and no previous experience is required, just plenty of team spirit

The Festival promises a fantastic day for competitors and spectators alike, with catering and bankside entertainment for all the family between races. 

The Dragon Boat Festival offers an excellent opportunity to raise money for MacIntyre, a national charity based in Milton Keynes that supports over 1,200 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability or autism. 

For crews opting for the popular gold and silver entry packages, a significant donation to MacIntyre is included in the entry fee alongside marketing benefits such as the company logo on the sides of a dragon boat. The crew raising the most money for MacIntyre will receive a special escape room prize courtesy of ‘Don’t get locked in’ near Leighton Buzzard.

“MacIntyre is delighted to be the official charity for the 2020 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival,” says the charity’s head of fundraising Claire Kennedy.

“Financial constraints in the social care sector mean that income we receive from fundraising is more important than ever. We use fundraised income to buy the extras that make a real and tangible difference to the people we support. Every penny received will go directly to benefit the people we support – nothing is deducted for administrative costs.”

Enter your team today at www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes


MacIntyre receives funding to provide its core services, meaning that fundraised income can be used to buy the extras that make a real and tangible difference to the people it supports. 

In Milton Keynes, MacIntyre supports to more than 200 people with a learning disability and other complex needs. The MacIntyre Coffee Shop in Great Holm is an excellent hub for the community and local business. 

As well as its exceptional service and diverse menu, the MacIntyre Coffee Shop gives people with a learning disability the chance to gain new skills. Every penny raised at the Dragon Boat Festival will benefit the Coffee Shop, which currently supports 40 learners.  

  • £50 pays for up to five people to attend the Coffee Shop for the day providing learning opportunities;
  • £100 will pay for ingredients needed for one day at the Coffee Shop;
  • £250 pays for MacIntyre’s team to support learners with disabilities with food preparation, baking and customer service skills, front of house;
  • £500 supports the running of our Coffee Shop for one day. 

Find out more. Contact the fundraising team on 01908 230100 or email fund@macintyrecharity.org

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