First of all, it was like being with old friends – from the actual old friends I had work the event, to the new friends we met at the venue. Everyone was nice and accommodating. It wasn’t unlike most of the other dragon boat events we’ve worked this year. But the whole feel seemed very laid back and informal, with a hint of “Let’s do a bang up job here!”

With 32 teams in its first year, Paddling in Pink, Kentucky’s first Dragon Boat Festival, went off without a hitch! Everyone had a great time – we finished about an hour early, the rain held off (for the most part), the 9-11 ceremony from a dragon boat with an American flag flapping in the wind and beautiful flower breast cancer ceremony using all six boats, made it special. What a day! What a weekend! There is nothing like being with people you love at an event that embraces everyone.

– Most of the crew

Since it was a breast cancer charity event, some of the team names were classic:

~ My Breast Friends
~ Saving Second Base
~ Healing Hooters
~ Kentucky Thorough-Breasts
~ Indy SurvivOars
~ Pink Tsunamis

The highlight, though, came after the event and clean-up, at dinner. We were all dubbed Kentucky Colonels by the race organizer, who happens to be a state legislator. She presented this to us at a sweet tribute at the after party. I got the one with the official seal, since she knew how to accurately spell my name, and everyone saluted me the rest of the night. We laughed so hard. Guess you had to be there! I also got a big bottle of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, which is the best apparently, even though I don’t drink Bourbon. I will be sharing it with all my friends, though, to celebrate the best dragon boat season so far!

Here’s to many, many more. Paddles UP!