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Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival is launched to celebrate Chinese New Year Kung Hei Fat Choi! – Here come the dragons!

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MK Dragon boat festival launch outside Melis in Milton Keynes

To celebrate Chinese New Year, the official launch of the 2018 Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival took place last Friday 16 February at Melis Restaurant in Central Milton Keynes.

MacIntyre is the new official charity for the 2018 Festival which is now in its 17th year. Dragon boat racing has an ancient Chinese history and the launch was timed to coincide with the start of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog. The event was well attended with representatives from local press and radio, as well as MacIntyre staff and people supported by MacIntyre, Melis staff and the staff of Festival organisers Gable Events.

Crews entered into the Festival will be invited to raise sponsorship for MacIntyre; Claire Kennedy and Jessie Harrison from the charity’s fundraising team are happy to talk about how funds raised by the participants will be used to support the charity’s vital work. The national charity based in Milton Keynes supports over 1,500 children, young people and adults who have a learning disability and/or autism.

Gable Events brought a 30-foot dragon boat along, fully dressed with paddles for guests to try out on dry land and have a go at beating the drum. Following the launch, Melis provided a fantastic Turkish buffet lunch for all to enjoy. The highly rated Melis Turkish Restaurant is providing a special prize meal, sponsored by Merinvest, for the team raising the most sponsorship for MacIntyre at the Festival this year.

Head of Fundraising, Claire Kennedy, is delighted that MacIntyre is the official Festival charity for 2018. “Having been involved in previous years, we know what a fantastic event this is for everyone who takes part and their families and friends. Every penny raised will be used to benefit the people we support in the Milton Keynes area.”

All it takes is 17 enthusiastic people to form a crew – 16 paddlers and one drummer. There is always space for new crews to enter, or for companies who have not entered for a few years to have another go and relive past glories. The dragon boats, qualified helms and all racing equipment will be provided, no previous experience is required, and each crew is guaranteed a minimum of three races.

We look forward to seeing you at Willen Lake on Saturday 23 June!

For further information, please visit: www.dragonboatfestivals.co.uk/miltonkeynes or call Gable Events on 01780 470 718. For information about MacIntyre, visit www.macintyrecharity.org or call 01908 230100.

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