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16th Annual KARM Dragon Boat Festival early registration opens

KNOXVILLE - The annual KARM Dragon Boat Festival, the Race with a Mission, is expected to attract thousands to the Cove at Concord Park this June for high intensity boat races, music, children’s activities, and fantastic food. The area’s oldest and largest dragon boat festival, the event will celebrate its sixteenth anniversary in Knoxville. The event is one of the largest fundraisers for Knox Area Rescue Ministries.

dragon boat festival
The annual KARM Dragon Boat Festival is one of the largest fundraisers for Knox Area Rescue Ministries. Photo courtesy of KARM.

The KARM Dragon Boat Festival is Saturday, June 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 30 corporate and community teams are expected to compete for a variety of awards, including fastest race times, highest fundraisers, best team name, best team spirit, best drummer costume, and more.

The early bird discount for team registration is available through March 16th. Early registration includes a $100 discount on the team registration fee. Teams can register online at or by calling 865.633.7653. In addition, interested teams can email

Last year at the KARM Dragon Boat Festival, 30 teams raced 41-foot Hong Kong style boats across the water, raising more than $280,000 to support the programs and services Knox Area Rescue Ministries provides those in need in our community. This year’s goal is $250,000.

The festival not only helps a worthy cause, it is also an opportunity to bring corporate, church, civic or community teams together for an action-packed day on and off the water. Event sponsors include TIS, Pilot/Flying J, Rick Cox Construction, Strata-G, WIVK-FM, Newstalk 98.7, Sports Radio, WBIR-TV, and the Knoxville News Sentinel. Vendors are needed for the event. Application information for vendors is available at

KARM serves more than 700 meals daily to the poor and needy. In addition, over 400 men, women and children sleep at KARM every night and offers innovative job training programs to help lead people to healthy and independent lives. To learn more, visit

Published February 11, 2018

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