Ottawa

Ice dragon boating to make North American debut at Winterlude

The lineup of activities for the Canada 150 edition of Winterlude is set to be officially unveiled today but we already know about one unique event: the inaugural Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival.

Lineup of activities for Canada 150 edition of Winterlude set to be officially unveiled today

Footage from an ice dragon boat race in Budapest, Hungary. 0:38

Dragon boats are a familiar sight at Mooney's Bay in the summer but this year Ottawa will be hosting a brand new festival at Dow's Lake — in the middle of winter.

The inaugural Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival is a highlight of the Canada 150 edition of Winterlude. The lineup of activities for this year's festival, which runs from Feb. 3 to 20, is set to be officially unveiled this morning at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Athletes use special paddles equipped with spikes to drag the boats along the ice. (courtesy of Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival )

Organizers of the Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival opened a second block to meet demand, after the first round of registration sold out in just 10 minutes.

It's the first event of its kind in North America, and has drawn athletes to register from as far as California and Florida.

Paddles are equipped with spikes to drag the boats along the ice.

The races are scheduled for February 17 and 18 at Dow's Lake. 

Ottawa will host the first ice dragon boat festival in North America during Winterlude 2017. (courtesy of Ottawa Ice Dragon Boat Festival )