Smokin' on the water

Published April 26, 2007

Started in 2003 as an interesting sidelight for the Asian Fest, the annual Dragon Boat Races in Tampa have turned into a destination event on their own with a strong following and crews that practice year-round.

The races are a modern reincarnation of Chinese sprint canoeing with a procession of brightly painted boats with elaborate dragon mastheads. Check it out from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Cotanchobee Park in Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa. You can also spot them from surrounding venues, such as the Florida Aquarium, Channelside and the Tampa Convention Center. Free for spectators. (813) 471-1548; www.tampabaydragonboats.com.