With the aims to create a city of active life style and to promote water activities and traditional folk sports in Taipei, a series of activities which includes "Dragon Boat Eye Dotting and River Worshiping Ceremony", “Dragon Boat Experience Camp”, “Steersperson’s Training Workshop”, “Simulation Pool Training”, “Dragon Boat Practice on Keelung River”, and “Taipei International Dragon Boat Championships” are held for “Taipei Dragon Boat Festival Carnival" at Dajia Riverside Park of Keelung River every year. The series of activities attract many experts from all over the world to come to Taipei for the dragon boat competition. In addition to racing activities, various traditional dragon boat festival celebrations and activities are also taking place at Dajia Riverside Park during Dragon Boat Festival for all participants and citizens to enjoy the festive atmosphere with friends and families.
The earliest Dragon Boat Races or similar events in Taipei can be traced back to 1895 when Taiwan was under Japanese ruling. The first official government sponsored race dates back as early as 1974 -“Taipei City Chiang Kai-Shek Cup Dragon Boat Championships”. At that time, it was mainly to cooperate with the government to promote Chinese Cultural Revival Movement and to advocate sports for all. It was organized by the International Lions Club. At first, the race was held near the Zhongxing Bridge in Danshui River. Later it moved to Shuiyuan Riverside Park under the Zhongzheng Bridge. And after the completion of Keelung River cutoff construction in 1995, the race then moved to its current location – Dajia Riverside Park of Keelung River.
As a growing number of cities adopting fiberglass dragon boats for racing, Taipei International Dragon Boat Championships still uses traditional wooden dragon boats as the competition vessels. The wooden dragon boats used in the Championships are handmade by the master boat builder Ching-Cheng Liu from the Sanjiaodu Ferry Port in Shilin District of Taipei. (There are only a handful of handmade dragon boats in Taiwan. With the traditional wood work and hand painting, wooden dragon boats are regarded as artworks.) On top of that, the use of standard size wooden dragon boats retains the tradition of "flag catching" to determine the winning of the race which adds to the excitement of the competition.
Reference link: National Repository of Cultural Heritage