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The Big Blue Dragon Boat Race Moved to Copeland Park

Franciscan Healthcare has been working closely with the Coast Guard through all aspects of planning this year’s Big Blue Dragon Boat Race. Today, the Mississippi River is above flood stage and not expected to crest until July 2. Given current and forecasted water conditions, and because the safety of our participants is our primary concern, organizers have decided to move the race to an alternate location.

On July 5, the Big Blue Dragon Boat Race will now take place on safe, calm waters along the Black River by Copeland Park. Organizers are currently finalizing logistics at this time for teams, sponsors, volunteers, and spectators. 

Updates will be posted on the Big Blue Dragon Boat race website: http://mayoclinichealthsystem.org/locations/la-crosse throughout the coming week.

“We are very grateful to the Riverfest organizers who worked so long and so hard to accommodate our specific needs,” says Terri Pedace, Big Blue Dragon Boat Race co-organizer. “The Mississippi River is just not safe enough for our paddlers to compete. We feel comfortable with the Black River because teams have been practicing in those calmer waters and will be more comfortable in that setting. We are encouraging the teams and spectators not only to enjoy our event, but to also take advantage of the many fun activities at Riverfest.”

Fifty-two teams consisting of 22 paddlers each will begin with Qualifying Races at 8 a.m.  Opening ceremonies are scheduled for 11 a.m. and the breast cancer survivor ceremony will take place approximately 3 p.m.  Semi-finals and finals will be taking place all afternoon. Awards and closing ceremonies will take place around 5 p.m.

Funds from the Big Blue Dragon Boat Race will go to promote breast cancer survivorship through Center for Breast Care programs at Mayo Clinic Health System focusing on prevention, detection and treatment. Funds are used to provide free mammogram screenings for women in financial need and comprehensive care and support for all patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

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