Here be Dragons: Festival at Lake Willastein this weekend

The annual River Cities Dragon Boat Festival will be this Friday and Saturday at Lake Willastein in Maumelle. (Photo from Facebook)

The annual River Cities Dragon Boat Festival will be this Friday and Saturday at Lake Willastein in Maumelle.

The event wasn’t held last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

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There’s a total of 25 teams listed as competitors in the boat races on Saturday, while festivities begin at 5 p.m. on Friday with TK Cowboy and David Rasico performing at 7 p.m.

The teams competing are:

  • 10 Fitness: Motor Boaters

  • Arkansas Chinese American Association: ACAA Flying Dragon

  • Arkansas Community Foundation: Arkansas Community Foundation

  • Arkansas Department of Human Services/Division of Children and Family Services: Winging This!

  • Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation: Coop Spirit

  • Arkansas Heart Hospital: Arkansas Heart Hospital

  • Arkansas State Police/CACD: Knot on Duty

  • Baldwin & Shell Construction No. 1: Hard Hat Legion No. 1

  • Baldwin & Shell Construction No. 2: Hard Hat Legion No. 2

  • BKD, LLP: Assets Afloat

  • Briggs Equipment: Briggs Brigade

  • Centers for Youth and Families: Clinical InOARvention

  • Cornerstone Specialty Hospital of Little Rock: Cornerstone Conquistadors

  • DataMax: Toner Pirates

  • First Security Bank: First Security Bank

  • Garver: Garver

  • Heart Hospital: Lettuce Turnip the Beet

  • Hospice Home Care: New Kids on the Dock

  • Kimberly Clark Corporation: Pandemic Pirates

  • Med Evolve: Oar We There Yet

  • Pinnacle Pointe Hospital: Pinnacle Pirates

  • US Bank Team No. 1: Ka Ching No. 1

  • US Bank Team No. 2: Ka Ching No. 2

  • And community teams: Boats & Rows and Row-A-Rita-Ville

Admission is free and proceeds from the team entry fees will benefit the Children’s Protection Center. 

Food trucks and yard games will be available on Friday and Saturday, with a fireworks show to close out the festival at 9:10 p.m. on Friday night. Races will start at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

For more information, click here for the festival’s website.

Schedule of events


  • Noon: Athlete’s Village team set up begins

  • 4:45 p.m. Athlete’s Village closes to all vehicles

  • 5 p.m. Team check-in begins, Team practices on the water, food trucks and yard games open

  • 6 p.m. Children’s Area Opens

  • 7 p.m. Music, fun from the stage

  • 8:30 p.m. Practices finish

  • 9:10 p.m. Fireworks Show


  • 7:30 a.m.: Athlete’s Village opens, all paddlers arrive, sign waivers and receive wristbands

  • 9 a.m.: Opening Ceremony & Drummer’s Parade

  • 9:15 a.m.: Marshalling & Races Begin

  • 11:30 a.m.: Dragon Cup Race

  • 1 p.m.: Championship Round

  • 2:45 p.m. Awards Ceremony