Dragon Boat Ends Early, Already Eyeing Next Year - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Dragon Boat Ends Early, Already Eyeing Next Year

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BIGFORK -

Rain ended Bigfork's Dragon Boat Festival early this weekend, but officials say it did not put a damper on the fun or the economic contribution.

Five heats got canceled after lunch on Sunday due to stormy weather.

Captains from all affected teams unanimously decided to stay off the water and average times from Saturday instead to determine rankings.

Still, nearly ten thousand people poured into the Flathead this weekend.

Even with the early stop time, volunteers and coordinators were at Flathead Lake Lodge almost until 8:00 p.m. on Sunday wrapping things up.

"The overall experience from the paddlers and the teams was overwhelmingly supportive," explained Rob Brisendine with the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce, "Everybody was understandable. They know when they come to Montana, weather is going to be an element. Weather is always an element when it's a water sport...everyone agreed with the decision that was made."

Organizers hope to announce the dates of next year's festival before the end of the month.

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