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17th Annual Chinatown Boat Race For Literacy Sets Off Saturday

By  Kayla Martinez and Peter Jones | June 20, 2017 5:24am 

 The 14th annual edition of the Dragon Boat Race for Literacy was held in the Chicago River off of Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown on June 28, 2014. CDW Dragon PAC, in the black boat, beat the team from Performance Health in this race.
The 14th annual edition of the Dragon Boat Race for Literacy was held in the Chicago River off of Ping Tom Memorial Park in Chinatown on June 28, 2014. CDW Dragon PAC, in the black boat, beat the team from Performance Health in this race.
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DNAinfo/Tanveer Ali

CHINATOWN — The Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce will host its 17th Annual Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 300 W. 19th St.

Thirty dragon boat teams of 20 members each will compete on the south branch of the Chicago River. More than 10,000 visitors are expected to attend. Races will begin at 8 a.m. with the opening ceremony beginning at 9 a.m.

In addition to the races, guests can enjoy a free ride on the Chinatown Trolley from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., as well as children’s activities and a look around several vendor booths.

Entertainment will be offered throughout the day, including performances by the Yin He Dance Company and Hōkūleʻa Academy of Polynesian Arts. Martial arts and tai chi demonstrations will also be showcased.

At the children’s activity area, SitStayRead, a local literacy organization, will have one of its Certified Reading Assistance dogs for children to read with from 10 a.m.-noon. The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library will also be providing storytelling and arts and crafts in the afternoon.

Admission is free and a portion of the proceeds go to local schools and organizations to support their literacy programs.