While TTCS members in Colchester celebrated the Year of the Dragon on August 25, 2012, parading their dragon in the park, members of the Alabama Branch of TTCS-USA made a big impression at the Montgomery Dragon Boat Race and Festival. Our Branch sponsored a team in the races—paddled by members and their family members—and we were invited to make two presentations on the Festival Amphitheater Stage at Riverfront Park in Montgomery, Alabama. The Montgomery Dragon Boat Festival benefits local charities and is attended by about 10,000 each year. By our participation, we were able to spread the word about the health benefits of the Taoist Tai Chi Society arts of health and were able to help others.
Each of the 80 teams entering boats in the race set up tents at the park, and the Alabama Branch invited all members and their families to hang out in our tent between races and demos. Needless to say, there was plenty of food to keep everyone going all day, between our two heats and two demonstrations. During the demos, on the large Amphitheater Stage, narrators were able to talk to the audience about the Taoist Tai Chi Society, the projects we organize to help our local community, the health and relaxation benefits, and the upcoming classes starting this fall in our locations in Alabama.
Our team, “The Tai Chi Dragon Tails,” paddled valiantly, but came in last in the races. However, we seemed to be the most good-natured and supportive team, and were awarded the Dragon Fire Award for Best Team Spirit!