Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury Dragon Boat Festival raises £65,000 for charity

A charity dragon boat event raised a 'roarsome' £65,000.

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Action from this year's Dragon Boat Festival, which raised £65,000 for Severn Hospice.

Severn Hospice held its ever-popular Dragon Boat Festival on the River Severn in Shrewsbury back in July, with hundreds of people supporting the two-day event.

As well as revealing the £65,000 boost from the event, the charity has also confirmed that next year’s festival will be on the weekend of July 20 and 21.

The water-based festival saw hundreds of people take to the river in spectacular 40ft-long dragon boats to battling it out for the title of champions.

PJ Aldred, events fundraiser for the charity, said: “This year’s event was fantastic. It is fair to say that every team that entered and were on the river had a fun time, not only when they were rowing but also when they were spectating and enjoying friendly banter with the other teams.

Action from this year's Dragon Boat Festival, which raised £65,000 for Severn Hospice.

“The Saturday winners were Top Goats Deux, from RAF Shawbury, who also won in 2022 and the Sunday winners were Cross Fit Gym. Both powered their way through the water and raised a huge amount of money for us.

“Since July we have been planning for 2024 and seven teams have already signed up, so it just goes to show how popular our Dragon Boat Festival is.

“But we have many more boats that need filling – so get on board. We work alongside Dragon Boats Events, which are one of the country’s leading dragon boats companies and they supply the boats – we just ask our teams to bring the power, enthusiasm, and desire to raise as much money for us as they can.”

There was a real carnival atmosphere on the riverbanks this year as racing took place between the Pengwern and Shrewsbury School boat clubs.

Teams were encouraged to dress up and the boats were crewed by gladiators, Vikings, hippies, sailors, convicts and even a Paddington Bear, complete with homemade marmalade sandwiches.

PJ added: “While Dragon Boats is a fun event, there is a message behind it – the generosity of the teams taking part, and those people who are spectating and supporting them enables us to care for so many local people who are living with incurable illness and facing heartbreak.

“The constant support that we have received over the years at our Dragon Boat Festival is quite humbling. Watching hundreds of people take to the water and raise thousands of pounds for us in sponsorship means the absolute world to us. We can’t thank them enough.

“We have a packed programme of events for next year – so keep an eye out for more details.”

To enter a team in the 2024 Dragon Boat Festival, go to

Boats are made up of teams of up to 20, including a drummer.

Registration is £350 per boat but there is an ‘early bird’ offer with a discount of £50. Teams are asked to raise a minimum of £1,000 in sponsorship and everyone who takes part receives a bespoke medal, while the best dressed team is rewarded with a trophy.

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