- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Greenville soon will add a boat festival to its cultural offerings.

Mayor John Cox said the inaugural Mississippi Delta Dragon Boat Festival will be held Aug. 8-9.

The Delta Democrat-Times reported (https://bit.ly/16jJfVL) the mayor believes the festival will be a boost for the Lake Ferguson area of town.

Cox said leaders of the area’s Chinese-American community have embraced the festival as a way of showing their contributions to the region’s culture.

Dragon boats are highly adorned and powered by a team of up to 20 paddlers. While the races have ceremonial roots, in recent years they have become competitive on a global scale.

The Greenville-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau is providing $15,000 in seed money for the festival.

“The timing couldn’t be better,” Cox said. “Gov. (Phil) Bryant proclaimed 2014 the Year of the Creative Economy. Creation of this event will help bring life back into this community and stimulate financial benefits,” he said.

Cox said Greenville has concentrated its development efforts downtown, but sees potential on the lakefront.

“We have begun to work on Stein Mart Square and more downtown business are moving in,” he said. “Let’s put some attention to our lakefront. Let’s clean it up and remodel it to have more events,” he said.


Information from: Delta Democrat Times, https://www.ddtonline.com

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