Pin It
Favorite

River Dragons 

by DOUG NADVORNICK & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & R & lt;/span & ick Steltenpohl is admittedly out of his element. The former director of Hoopfest has now turned his attention to dragon boats. He's organizing the July 21 Paddle for Parks dragon boat races on the Spokane River.





"I've played basketball all my life and I had such a passion for Hoopfest," says Steltenpohl. "This [dragon boats] is totally different."





When Steltenpohl left Hoopfest he also left town. But he has returned and agreed to help raise the profile of the dragon boat races, which is a fundraiser for the Spokane Parks Foundation.





"I'm captivated by the river," he says. "I think we can make it into something big, a Riverfest."





Dragon boat festivals are common in Portland and in the Puget Sound area, but didn't debut in Spokane until two years ago, in conjunction with an international Sister Cities convention. The races were held again last year, but it was a low-key event. This year Steltenpohl has lined up new sponsors and has moved the course from just east of the Division Street Bridge to a more fan-friendly stretch that's adjacent to Gonzaga University.





"People can sit on the rocks or stand on the walking trail and watch the races," says Steltenpohl. "And we have a paddlers' village [near the Jundt] where we'll have vendors and space for people to sit down and a scoreboard."


Steltenpohl will rent eight colorful dragon boats from a Vancouver, B.C. vendor. The Washington Dragon Boat Association will run the competition.


The Spokane Parks Foundation hopes to raise enough money through sponsorships and $700-per-boat entry fees (there are 22 oarspeople in each boat) to fund its community projects.





"The dragon boat races will give us more exposure in the community," says foundation Executive Director Toni Nersesian. "We want the public to know that we're here, to fill in the gaps with projects the city's Parks Department can't pay for."





Nersesian says, among other things, the foundation works with neighborhoods that want to improve their parks, "to help them build a spray pad or build restrooms," she says. "We also underwrite swim lessons and we're building a children's universal playground at Mission Park, where all children, even those with disabilities can play."





The Spokane Parks Foundation is accepting applications from up to 40 businesses and groups that want to sponsor a team. Visit www.PaddleforParks.org to fill out a registration form.
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Intersection of What? A Presentation on Intersectionality

Intersection of What? A Presentation on Intersectionality @ Spokane Falls Community College

Wed., Jan. 25, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


marijuana


green zone


Politics


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • We Need a Prophet
  • We Need a Prophet

    Publisher's Note
    • Sep 24, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation