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Dragon Boats are back; The drumbeat goes on by the Connecticut River

HARTFORD -- If you're near it, you will hear it.

It's that time of year when the dragon boat racers take to the waters of the Connecticut River in Hartford. This is the 17th year of the popular competition that has grown to 90 boats. The dragon boat races are part of the Capital City's Asian festival and bring paddlers to Hartford from all over the region.

Bill Sullivan, who is the director of adventure programs for Riverfront Recapture -- the event organizers -- says dragon boats are a proven winner for Hartford and the community. "It really goes back to supporting local charities and organizations," Sullivan said. "The push has been to generate more interest in Dragon Boating in the greater Hartford region and Connecticut and it seems to be working."

Among those making a practice run in the water was Melanie Goodin who will paddle for The Turnpike Motors/Anytime Fitness boat on Saturday. Goodin's teammates have won the top prize at the boat races before. "It is so much fun, you're gliding over the Connecticut River and you're looking at the view from a place you normally wouldn't unless you're on a boat."

Joining Goodin as part of the 22-member crew, teammate Dan Hovey, added the races are a "good way to get together and get physical right on the Connecticut River."

To learn more about the upcoming dragon boat races and the upcoming Asian Festival click here.