Sisters at Heart Celebration FAQs
Sisters at Heart Celebration FAQs
As a participant, do I have a role in registering?
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What is the Sisters at Heart Celebration? Our dragon boat event is so much more than who comes across the finish line first. Dragonheart loves the joy of racing like everyone else, but we also believe there is much more to our dragon boating experience. We want to offer you tips to improve your paddling skills, new experiences, and more. Most of all, we want to share smiles and laughter as we celebrate our sisterhood. It’s an incredible experience – don’t miss it!
Where does the Sisters at Heart Celebration take place? Our event takes place at Waterfront Park on beautiful Lake Champlain. Use 1 Lake Street, Burlington, VT 05401 to access the exact directions from your location.
General directions: Take I-89 to Exit 14 West. Take Main Street to Lake Champlain. Waterfront Park is located between ECHO (our Science Museum) and the US Coast Guard Station.
Burlington Vermont on MapQuest http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Burlington&state=VT
When will registration open? Registration opened on April 1, 2017.
How do I register our team? Team Captains must go to the ridethedragon.org website:
https://Ridethedragon.org/registration Scroll down to the Sisters at Heart registration section and follow the instructions. Create your account, enter your team name and pay the team fee in order to hold a slot. A team consists of 16-20 paddlers and a drummer. Additional team paddlers, alternates, a steersperson, and non-paddling members can be added and paid for later.
As a participant, do I have a role in registering? Once your captain has registered the team, team members will be emailed a link to complete their registration on-line, including entering their names, email addresses, lunch sign-up, shirt size preference and signing an on-line waiver. All participants, including non-paddling participants, must sign a waiver.
How much does it cost to participate? The cost for the entire weekend is:
*$1785 per team of 21 (up to 20 paddlers + 1 drummer)
*$85 per person for a steersperson, extra paddlers or a member who is unable to paddle but wishes to participate in all weekend activities.
*$20 per person for a family member or friend wishing to join us for Saturday's lunch and ice cream social.
Please include all participants on your roster and submit payment for team fee of $1785 plus all additions. All fees are non-refundable.
Your captain will need to register at least 16 paddlers and a drummer and pay the team fee in order to hold a slot.
Each team will paddle in two 500-meter races on Saturday and at least two 200-meter races on Sunday.
The cost for additional paddlers beyond the first 20 is $85 US per person for the weekend. The fee for a member who is unable to paddle but wishes to participate in the activities on Saturday and Sunday is $85 US per person for the weekend. The fee for a family member or friend wishing to join us for Saturday's picnic lunch and ice cream social is $20 US per person. The cost for steersperson taking part in the Sisters at Heart Day and Lake Champlain Festival is $85 US pp.
Are fees refundable? No, all fees are non-refundable.
What is included in my fee? The $85 pp fee gives you two events for the price of one! On Saturday you’ll enjoy a Nia dance workshop plus paddling workshops led by Canadian coaches, a catered lunch, a group singalong, team song/cheer presentations and a group photo followed by an ice cream social featuring Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. On Saturday you will participate in two 500-meter races, vying for the 500-meter BCS championship trophy. Then on Sunday you’ll have two to four 200-meter races at our community festival and a chance to vie for the BCS 200-meter championship trophy. You'll also be our honored guests at our traditional Flower Ceremony. The price also includes a Festival T-shirt, hat, and medal. This is our labor of love – a gift to our sister survivors.
The $20 pp fee for friends and family members includes the catered lunch and the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream social.
What should we bring? Please bring water bottles. We will have a water truck with free water both Saturday and Sunday. There will be NO bottled water sales at the Festival. Also bring your own canopy and lawn chairs to set up in your 15' by 15' area in Athletes' Village. Canopies can be left up overnight if you stake your tent and understand that it is left at your own risk. There will be a security guard on duty Saturday night.
We will have plenty of paddles and PFDs available, but you're certainly welcome to bring your own.
We'll provide lunch on Saturday. On Sunday there will be food vendors selling bagels, coffee, lunch and snack items. Please don't bring alcoholic beverages.
When will we be finished on Sunday?
Our Flower Ceremony will take place around noon on Sunday. The BCS final races will then take place followed immediately by the BCS Award Ceremony. You’re welcome to stay and join in the rest of the day’s festivities, but we know some of you have to get on your way early.
When is the next Sisters at Heart Celebration? Our Sisters at Heart Celebration is always held on the first Saturday in August. Saturday, August 5 is the date for the 2017 Sisters at Heart Celebration. The Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival is on August 6, 2017.
Who can participate in Sisters at Heart Celebration? This event is for breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams only.
Can we bring our steersperson? Absolutely. Your steersperson can steer for your 500m and 200m races, if pre-approved for steering on Lake Champlain with its very unpredictable conditions. Please contact us directly if you are bringing your steersperson, as we will need to make plans for a meeting with our coaching staff on Saturday morning. The safety of our participants is our greatest concern. If you are bringing your steersperson, please note that s/he will not be steering during Saturday’s paddling workshop, although s/he may participate as a paddler if there is room in your boat.
Can we bring our drummer? Yes and, in fact, we are planning on it. If for some reason your drummer is unable to attend, please let us know ASAP and we will try to find a replacement. Chances are the drummer we enlist will not be a breast cancer survivor.
Does our entire team need to be breast cancer survivors? If you are vying for ERDBA points and want to qualify for the race medals and trophies, all racers (paddlers, drummer, and steersperson) must be breast cancer survivors. However, teams may register and participate in the Sisters at Heart events if not all team members are breast cancer survivors.
Can a team that is not all-BCS take part? Yes, if the 12 team slots on the Sisters at Heart registration page have not been filled. It should be understood that your team would not qualify for BCS race medals, trophies, and ERDBA points. A full BCS teams gets preference over teams that are not.
How many breast cancer teams will be participating in the Sisters at Heart Celebration? We have space for 12 breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams. Be sure to register early to insure a spot!! Registration opens April 1, 2017.
We have some team members who cannot paddle at the moment, but they want to take part in the non-paddling workshops. Is that possible? Yes, your non-paddling members can take part in all off-water activities. They will register under your team and the team will be billed an additional $85 pp for everyone over the 21 team members. The non-paddling members can participate in the Nia dance workshop, your team’s spirit presentation, our singalong, catered lunch, ice cream social and will receive a festival shirt, hat, and participatory medal!
Can my spouse, friends, or family members join us for lunch? Yes, friends and family can take part in the catered lunch and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream social for $20 US per person. All “lunchers” need to register, sign a waiver, and make an individual payment online. Please make sure they are registered and paid so that we can get an accurate lunch count.
Can we register more than 20 paddlers? Yes. Extra paddlers can take part in all on-shore activities, as well as on-water activities, if there is room in a boat for them. They will register under your team and the team will be billed an additional $85 pp for everyone over the 21 team members. The extra paddling members can participate in the Nia dance workshop, your team’s spirit presentation, our singalong, catered lunch, ice cream social and will receive a festival shirt, hat, and participatory medal. Please let us know if your extra paddlers will be alternate paddlers for your team or if you would like us to try to find a place for them in another boat.
Can we register team alternates? Yes. You can register up to 4 team alternates to take part in the weekend activities. Alternates can take part in all on-shore activities, and on-water activities if there is room in a boat for them. Registered alternates receive a Festival T-shirt, hat and medal. The fee for alternates is $85 US per person for the weekend.
What is the maximum number of people a team can register? If you want to register more than 26 people for (20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and the remaining 5 any combination of alternates, steerspersons and companions), please let us know well in advance so that we can attempt to resolve space limitations.
Do we need a drummer? Yes, every team is asked to bring a drummer. Please inform us 7-days prior to the event that you need a drummer so that we have time to enlist one for you. Be aware that chances are the drummer we enlist will not be a breast cancer survivor.
Do we need a steersperson? No, we will provide you with a steersperson. If you prefer to bring your steersperson, or you want to ensure that you have a BCS steersperson to qualify for medals, or ERDBA points, please register her/him along with the rest of the team. The fee for the steersperson is $85. Be aware that steering on Lake Champlain can be challenging. Your steersperson can steer for your 500m and 200m races, if pre-approved for steering on Lake Champlain with its very unpredictable conditions. Please contact us directly if you are bringing your steersperson, as we will need to make plans for a meeting with our coaching staff on Saturday morning. If you are bringing your steersperson, please note that s/he will not be steering during Saturday’s paddling workshop, although s/he may participate as a paddler if there is room in your boat.
Do our drummer and steersperson need to be BCS? If you wish to vie for medals or for ERDBA (Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association) points, everyone on your boat must be BCS, including your drummer and steersperson.
Can I register for Sisters at Heart as an individual? The Sisters at Heart Celebration is designed for team participation. Please email us if you are a breast cancer survivor and part of a dragon boat team, but your team is not coming and you wish to participate.
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Where can we stay while in Burlington?
Where can I find a good restaurant in Burlington?
Where should I park for Sisters at Heart and the Lake Champlain Dragon Boat Festival? The City of Burlington has granted a license to a local company to manage the North Meadow parking lot (the dirt lot across from the waterfront). They did not charge a parking fee on both Saturday and Sunday in 2016.
Check out our parking hints to learn about other parking options. Most meters and many lots away from the waterfront are free on Sunday. If you will be arriving by bus, please contact us at
What other fun things are there to do in Burlington? Be sure to check out About Burlington, Burlington Free Press Entertainment sections and 7 Days: the Regional Guide to Vermont Dining & Night Life for current options. You can learn all about our area and the fun events happening on our Festival weekend.