Since its inception in 2006, the Prisma Health Cancer Institute Dragon Boat Upstate Festival has been a catalyst for individuals in the Upstate to work together and change the face of cancer in our local community. Over the years, more than $4 million have been raised by caring community members, helping propel the Prisma Health Cancer Institute forward in advanced cancer research and patient survivor programs in the Upstate.
Each year, up to 27 teams take to the water in specially designed Canadian-built Dragon Boats (they really have a cool dragon face on the front!) to paddle fiercely to cross the finish line to win bragging rights but more importantly, to beat cancer. All paddlers, sponsors, volunteers, supporters, and onlookers celebrate and honor those impacted by cancer during the day’s activities.
The Dragon Boat Upstate Festival is open to the community. The event provides a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to have fun and build camaraderie, all while making a difference in supporting cancer initiatives in the Upstate. Whether this is your first year and you’re trying to figure out how to get involved, or you’ve been a longtime supporter, we are grateful for you and are glad you’re here!
On Saturday, May 6, 2023, the 17th Annual Dragon Boat Upstate Festival was a tremendous success with full hearts and dragon boats. All thanks to our community partners, participants, and volunteers, we raised $308,289 to benefit patients and families at the Prisma Health Cancer Institute Upstate and South Carolina Ovarian Cancer Foundation.
Congratulations to 2023’s champions of the race and our top participating teams.
Explore our website or reach out to DragonBoat@prismahealth.org for more information. Paddles up!
We are Paddling Fiercely Against Cancer
Why We Paddle
Every Dragon Boat paddler participates in the festival for different reasons, but we are all paddling fiercely against cancer. Unfortunately, we have all been touched by cancer, and Dragon Boat Upstate Festivals offers an opportunity for us to honor or memorialize a loved one in a unique and special way. Learn more about how the funds raised for Dragon Boat make a difference in the lives of many cancer patients and their families each day.
Dragon Boat Hall of Fame
Our dedicated Dragon Boat Hall of Fame members share a common goal: to help eradicate cancer. They embody the spirit of the event with teamwork, perseverance, and a shared passion to raise funds to fight cancer. For the 2023 Dragon Boat Upstate Festival, we recognize our past Hall of Fame inductees while offering the Hall of Fame All-Star jacket to honor Dr. Larry Gluck as we reflect on his legacy as he embarks upon his retirement.
The Dragon Boat Upstate Festival is more than fundraising it's a community of dedicated and passionate people that come together to do all they can to support each other and fight cancer. Get involved today by forming a team, joining a team, or donating your time or resources. Join us and become part of our life changing community fighting cancer.