San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival 2017

Dragon boat races and admission-free festival on Treasure Island

Event Details

On the water of San Francisco Bay, the 21st Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival is a free, colorful and fun event for tens of thousands of spectators. A fleet of brightly decorated 40-foot dragon boats will compete to the beat of Chinese drums. See the action and cheer them while enjoying the festival on Treasure Island -- with fabulous San Francisco skyline views as a backdrop -- on Saturday & Sunday, September 23 and 24, 2017, from 10am to 5pm.

On the stage

Opening Ceremony takes place on Saturday at 11:30am as the dragon boats are blessed by monks awakening the “dragons” by performing a traditional eye-dotting ceremony. It may feel like a Chinese New Year party in summer when the lion and dragon dances take to the stage. There’s taiko drumming, Tahitian dancing, martial arts, musical theater, Chinese acrobats and lots of costumes.

In the water

The festival is ranked as one of the largest and most competitive races of its kind in the USA. About 3,000 competitors take their positions in more than 120 dragon boat teams comprised of 22 per boat for the ultimate team sport. When the horn blasts at the start line, paddlers take off in a burst of energy to represent their team in a mix of novice versus experienced and community versus corporate from throughout North America...and everybody’s a winner. For the kids

Come to Dragon Land with the children. It’s a house-sized children's activity pavilion filled with personalized arts and crafts, games, animal balloons, face painting, temporary tattoos, yo yo lessons, puppet shows and the Flax Creative Arts Activity Area. Touch live reptiles on the Tree Frog Treks. Take a ride in the mini helicopter and aboard the spinning dragon. Take a turn climbing around a pirate house or the Spider Mountain obstacle course. Visit the Classic Kids Play Area for hula hoop and jumping rope. Get to the Land of Smart Kids Area, where Microsoft Stores have science, technology math-oriented activities and learn to code happenings as well as fun with Surface Pro 3 tablet and Xbox One.

Food trucks

Some of San Francisco's favorite food trucks are on hand. Curry Up Now, Let’s Be Frank Organic Hot Dogs, BBQ, Thai, Vietnamese and Hawaiian food are on hand as well as smoothies, Boba tea or organic frozen treats.

Getting there

Free shuttles will provide transportation to and from the 19th Street BART Station/the Dragon Boat Festival every 15 to 20 minutes, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The BART Dragon Boart Shuttle stiop is located on Broadway between 19th and 20th Sts. in from of the Oakland Tribune building. 

For those driving to the Festival, park in the designated Festival Public Parking Garage at a special rate of $5 all day and take the  free shuttle (look for the yellow school buses). The Dragon Boat Festival Public Parking Garage is located on at the Downtown Merchants Parking Garage at Webster between 13th and 14th Streets. The entrance to the garage is on Webster on the right hand side. The shuttle stop is just outside the garage on 14th Street at Webster.

  • SF International Dragon Boat Festival Information
    Treasure Island
    San Francisco, CA 94130
Notes About this Event
  • Website:
  • Start date: Saturday, September, 23, 2017 10:00AM
  • End date: Sunday, September, 24, 2017 05:00PM
  • Duration: Saturdat & Sunday 10am-5pm
  • Free: Yes