The inaugural Fidelity Investments Dragon Boat Festival is scheduled 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 21 along the St. Johns River Downtown.
A preview event is scheduled Saturday, a 6-mile race from the Arlington boat ramp to the Riverside Arts Market. Teams are expected to paddle through Downtown about 10 a.m.
Dragon-boating pits crews of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a "steers person" who guides the craft in a race against other vessels and teams. The international rowing sport combines power, speed, synchronization and endurance.
Dragon-boating has been featured on the television programs "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and "The Bachelorette."
Organized by the Pan Am Dragon Boat Association, In the Pink and C. Shirk Productions, the festival is expected to host 50 teams with a total of 1,000 athletes.
In addition to the races, the festival's agenda includes demonstrations by Chinese dancers and martial artists, and entertainment. Members of the Asian community will participate in the traditional "dotting of the eye" ceremony to begin the 400-meter races.
The event will benefit In the Pink, a boutique for women living with cancer.
The Omni Downtown is the host hotel for competitors and spectators. Sponsors are Fidelity Investments, Firehouse Subs, Web.com, The Brumos Companies, BB&T, The St. Johns Riverkeeper, Aria Homes, Key Buick GMC Hyundai, Tow Boat U.S., the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jason's Deli, City of Jacksonville, Stanley Steemer, the Jacksonville Landing, Swisher International and Sumo Design Studio.
For more information or to register a corporate team, visit jacksonvilledragonboatfestival.com.