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The Buffalo River is known for a lot of things, but one relatively new identity that it has taken on is the home of the annual Dragon Boat Festival.

After two long years, the Dragon Boat Festival is set to get underway once again. Luminina, operating as Hope Chest, a local 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit agency that provides exercise and nutrition classes, emotional support, and paddling training for breast cancer survivors, will be running the show per usual. 2022 marks the tenth year that the festival has been held – the calendar date is set for Saturday, June 18.

Not only does this festival represent a good cause, it’s also a really unique festival to witness. If you’ve never seen a dragon boat before, the sight is very impressive. It’s even more impressive when there are numerous dragon boats out on the river competing. The event tends to attract upwards of 5000 people to the water’s edge. Prime viewing is at Buffalo Riverworks, which also happens to be the host venue.

“Hope Chest is a positive support group for breast cancer survivors. We offer a unique paddling program along with a health and fitness program for breast cancer survivors of all ages and fitness levels. Our purpose is to inspire breast cancer survivors in any stage of treatment or recovery to lead active and fulfilling lives. Our physical fitness programs promote physical and emotional healing. Hope Chest serves survivors throughout Western New York.” – Organizers

The Hope Chest Buffalo Niagara Dragon Boat Festival℠ is a family-friendly event!   Event day activities include a Basket Raffle, 50/50 Raffles, Merchandise, Children’s Area, Best Costume and Best T-Shirt Contests, Vendor Tables, racing, and much more! This exciting Western New York summer festival is free to spectators.

Registration is limited to 60 teams comprised of corporate, community and breast cancer teams from all over North America.  Many teams have already committed to this fun-filled event. We anticipate team registration to fill quickly due to the increased interest from both out-of-town and local teams as this event has grown in size and popularity.  Register your team early to ensure participation in this exciting Western New York summer festival!  All proceeds benefit Hope Chest of Buffalo.

View website for team registration, sponsorship, and additional details at and our Facebook page Hope Chest Dragon Boat Team or contact Susan Gately at