Tag Archives: Meadow Lake

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival marks 25th anniversary this weekend

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo


All are invited to enjoy two exciting days of racing and entertainment during the 25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) this weekend, Aug. 8 and 9, at Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

HKDBF-NY is the largest event of its kind in the U.S., and for 24 years it has drawn an audience of more than 50,000 people from across North America. This free, multicultural festival is a celebration of the age-old tradition of dragon boat racing, a sport that makes use of colorful, custom-made teak boats specially made by craftsmen in Hong Kong. The boats, which have dragon heads and tails that adorn their front and back ends, are piloted by teams of 20 people: 18 paddlers, a drummer and a navigator.

More than 200 teams and 2,500 participants from the U.S. and Canada will be competing for cash and prizes in this year’s U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship. Races that will be part of the championship will include a media invitational, a women’s invitational, a charity race, a corporate invitational and a sponsor’s challenge. Other special/invitational cup races will include the 25th Anniversary Invitational, the HSBC 150th Anniversary Invitational, and the Municipal Invitational, which will feature teams fielded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assemblyman Ron Kim and various New York City agencies such as the NYPD, the FDNY, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Parks Department. The New York City Heritage Championship Races will follow the opening day parade at noon on Saturday, Aug. 8.

Racing will begin at 9 a.m. and festival events will continue all day till approximately 5 p.m. Besides the races, attendees can enjoy presentations of traditional Chinese arts, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional dragon dance, music, and other demonstrations of folk arts and crafts. Visitors can also enjoy a meal at the international food court.

“The board and I are very proud and excited to have been a part of the growth of the festival from 10 boats on the Hudson 25 years ago when the festival began, to commemorate the opening of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York (HKETO-NY), to this year’s festival with over 200 teams participating in celebration of the 25th anniversary,” said Henry Wan, chairman of the HKDBF-NY board. “HKDBF-NY has become one of the largest international dragon boat festivals in the world and a much-anticipated event on NYC’s summer calendar.”

The tradition of dragon boat racing dates back to the third century B.C. and commemorates the poet and reformer Qu Yuan, who drowned himself to protest his emperor’s policies. Locals raced in their boats to try and rescue the poet, but were too late. In order to prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, they beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This marked the beginning of the annual Chinese rite.

For full event info, click here.


Real estate roundup: $750M College Point Police Academy delayed again, Meadow Lake to get cleanup

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Rendering courtesy of the NYPD

New $750 million NYPD Police Academy in Queens faces another setback with defective gym floor

“Cadets attending the NYPD’s new multimillion-dollar Police Academy in Queens may be asked to participate in a new physical fitness regimen — ripping out the broken gym floor.

“A state-of-the-art polyurethane floor recently installed in the soon-to-be opened $750 million NYPD training ground in College Point has already began to warp and buckle and will need to be torn out and replaced — possibly delaying the facility’s opening, police officials confirmed Friday.” Read more [The New York Daily News]

Long neglected, lakes and ponds in city parks will get some attention

“It is the largest lake in New York City, a historic salt marsh that was flooded when Flushing Meadows-Corona Park was fashioned from a former ash dump to host the 1939 World’s Fair.

“But while years of effort and millions of dollars have gone toward cleaning up the city’s major waterways, like the Hudson and Bronx Rivers, city officials and parks advocates have paid less attention to Meadow Lake and the four dozen other lakes and ponds scattered across the parkland.” Read more [The New York Times]

5 factors that could impact Chinese property investment in NYC

“As Chinese property developers and investors look to generate bigger profits by looking beyond their local markets, questions have arisen about what’s actually driving the influx of cash – and what could slow the flow.” Read more [The Real Deal]

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns for 24th annual celebration

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of HKDBF

Chinese celebrations are coming to Queens for the 24th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York.

The event will begin on Aug. 9 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with a Chinese ensemble of musicians playing ancient and modern music  at 10:30 a.m. The event is named after the main attraction that involves over 180 teams, 2,250 participants, on boats with a dragon head on them racing each other across the Meadow Lake. The event is divided into the 250 and 500 meter race. The teams compete for cash prizes and other trophies. The festival is completely free and will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The tradition of dragon boat racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. as a form of protest. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with performances like the shaolin warriors. Masters and students of Shaolin Kung Fu Center headquartered in Flushing will demonstrate their ancient skills.

Across the country, similar dragon boat races will be held to celebrate the fifth moon of the lunar calendar, according to the event’s organizers.

For more information, visit www.hkdbf-ny.org.


Students to analyze Queens waters in summer CUNY program

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

More than 30 high school students will test the waters of Queens as part of a special City University of New York (CUNY) summer program.

Macaulay Honors College of CUNY is hosting the course to sample and analyze water at the Queens base of the Throgs Neck Bridge, Flushing Bay and Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, so students can learn about threats to the ecosystem.

Led by Queens College professor and oceanographer Gillian Stewart, students from Brooklyn Tech H.S. will identify issues facing each body of water and think of possible solutions.

The site sampling is intended to foster students’ interest in science and the environment and the program will begin on June 30. On July 3 students will take a full-day field trip to the sites to sample the bodies of water.

“We really just want to take the students out there to show them New York is surrounded by water,” Stewart said. “But New York has one of the most contaminated waterways in the country.”

Students will analyze water samples from the three sites and use tools to identify the pH and oxygen levels, the amount of metal in the water, plankton and the diversity of sea life. They will also identify threats such as the raw sewage that leaks into Flushing Bay and the pollution from car traffic into Meadow Lake, Stewart said.

Although the program will show students issues facing the waterways, Stewart hopes the students stay positive.

“Most New Yorkers don’t realize how threatened those waters are,” Stewart said. “I hope these students walk away with an interest in science and environment…but also the optimism that they could make a difference.”



22nd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

dragon boat race 1_1045w

In celebration of the “Year of the Water Dragon,” the organizing committee of the 22nd Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York (HKDBF-NY) announced that this year’s competition is to be held on Saturday, August 4 and Sunday, August 5. It will feature cash & prizes for competitors in this year’s US Dragon Boat Open Championship. Other festival events consist of several Special Cup races including The Hong Kong Cup and the Municipal Cup featuring various teams from our elected officials. This year’s Corporate Invitational looks to be a good one, with many Corporate Teams joining us to race for their company. The Festival will be held at Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, rain or shine. Admission is free.

HKDBF-NY is an international, multicultural celebration and sporting event, the largest multicultural festival in New York and the largest festival of its kind in the U.S. HKDBF NY keeps up the age old tradition of Dragon Boat Racing in colorful, custom-made teak boats, which are virtual works of art gliding on water. Custom-made by a small coterie of craftsmen in Hong Kong, weighing one ton each, colorfully painted with a dragon head at the front and dragon tail at the rear, the boats are piloted by up to 20 crewmen, including 18 paddlers, a drummer and steersperson.

For 21 successful years, HKDBF-NY has attracted a diverse, multi-cultural audience of more than 50,000 attendees throughout North America. With more than 180 well-trained teams, involving more than 2,500 participants competing from across the U.S. and Canada, this year’s festival is expected to be notable in its scale and fierce competition.

With cash & prizes at stake for the US Dragon Boat Open Championships, the festival takes place over two days on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, featuring events for the entire family. The opening day parade at noon on Saturday, August 4 will be followed by the New York City Championship Races. The U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championship will be held on Sunday, August 5th with the teams vigorously competing for their share of the cash & prizes.

Racing starts at 9 a.m. and events last throughout the day until approximately 5 p.m. each day, rain or shine. Other festival events consist of the media invitational, corporate youth, charity race, women’s invitational, and sponsors challenge, a photo contest as well as presentations on the Stage of traditional Chinese arts, martial arts demonstrations, the traditional dragon dance, musical and other diverse performances and demonstrations of folk arts and crafts. An ethnic food court and booths staffed by sponsors of the event, many of whom will be giving away promotional items, and many community-based organizations participating help make for a unique, action packed, multi-cultural, New York weekend.

The tradition of Dragon Boat racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. to protest against his emperor’s policies. The locals raced in their boats in an attempt to rescue the poet. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles. This was the beginning of Dragon Boat racing.

Admission to the HKDBF-NY is FREE; events take place Rain or Shine.

Directions to the Festival by car – take the Long Island Expressway to Van Wyck Expressway to exit 11 south, then stay on service road to the Park. Parking is severely limited. Please take the MTA or car pool. Directions to the festival by bus/subway –again this year we’ve worked with the MTA to insure easy and safe transportation to the festival site. Festival goers can use their MetroCard to take the No. 7 Train to the Citi Field stop and transfer from there to special MTA shuttle buses that will take them directly to the festival site, or they can walk from the Citi Field stop (about 15 minutes) or take the colorful park trolley to the festival site. Parking on-site is limited, you can park at CitiField and take the special MTA shuttle with your MetroCard or use correct change.