Dragon Boat Festival comes to Florence

2018 edition the first in Europe

Mindy Burrows
May 18, 2018 - 15:12

The Dragon Boat Festival will host its first-ever European edition in Florence from July 6 to 8.

Organized by the International Breast Cancer Paddlers' Commission, the festival is a spirited event with teams of 22 breast cancer survivors from around the world who will race in "dragon boats", which have a dragon’s head and tail. With over 120 teams from 18 countries taking part, every single continent will be represented at the 2018 edition, a first for the festival. Stefania Saccardi, Assessor of Healthcare Rights, Welfare and Sport in Tuscany, has described hosting the event has a “source of pride” for the region.



The participants are primarily women between 20 and 80 years old who, along with their friends and families, will paint Florence pink for three days in a series of demonstrations, workshops and social events which aim to raise awareness and create a dialogue among breast cancer survivors. The Dragon Boat race itself, the main event of the weekend, will take place in the heart of Cascine Park.



With over 4,000 people expected to attend, the organising committee behind the event in Florence, the non-profit Firenze in Rosa, hopes that the Festival will spread the word about breast cancer prevention, self-diagnosis and treatment among both women and men, as well as promote healthy lifestyles during the post-tumour rehabilitation period. The event is sponsored by the Ministry of Sport with contributions from the Region of Tuscany and the City of Florence.  


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