Photos: Breast cancer survivor ceremony draws hundreds to Penticton Dragon Boat Festival

It was a moving pink carnation ceremony honouring survivors and those who have died from breast cancer at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday. (Monique Tamminga Western News)It was a moving pink carnation ceremony honouring survivors and those who have died from breast cancer at the Penticton Dragon Boat Festival on Sunday. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
The honourary paddles up walk after a race.
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Paddles Up! Breast cancer survivor dragon boaters do the ceremonial walk through after their race. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
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Crowds of pink carnations. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Over 1,500 dragon boaters and thousands of spectators and fans descended on the shores of Skaha Lake for the 23rd Penticton Dragon Boat Festival this weekend.

Saturday’s races couldn’t be under better conditions with clear blue skies and huge crowds to cheer them on the competitors. Food and market vendors, an announcer dressed in a devil’s costume, tents for each team and were all part of the event, organized by the Penticton Dragon Boat Society and founder and coach Don Mulhull.

On Sunday, hundreds gathered on the shores and in the boats, many holding pink carnations, to take in the moving breast cancer survivor ceremony organized by Penticton’s own Survivorship breast cancer dragon boat team.

In was a sea of pink from the dragon boaters, with breast cancer survivors from all over the Okanagan filling over five dragon boats to compete this year.

The announcer said this ceremony was started back into the late 1990s to honour a dragon boater who was killed by the horrible disease. Since then, 22 local dragon boaters have died from breast cancer.

Each of their names were read out and then a moment of silence was held before everyone threw their pink carnations into the lake.

READ MORE: Penticton dragon boaters dominate Vernon festival

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