About 100 people turned out to support the Raging Dragons dragon boat team at their steak BBQ fundraiser in Chatham Saturday evening. The event amped up the excitement for the team’s trip to Ottawa this week.

The Raging Dragons will represent Chatham-Kent when they compete in North America’s first Ice Dragon Boat Festival in Ottawa next weekend – that’s dragon boat racing, but on ice. The teams have specially adapted paddles and skate-blade runners on bottom of their boats. The event is in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

Sixty teams from around the world are participating in the race on the Rideau Canal. They are coming from as far away as China and Europe. There are even some on the wait-list from Africa and Australia. The event sold out in just eight minutes.

The Raging Dragons team has 27 members, both men and women, though only 14 will be competing in Ottawa. The team has been competing in Chatham-Kent for the past 20 years, and are looking to expand the team for summer competitions.