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| Culture |

Chinese Invade Haulover for South Florida Dragon Boat Festival

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View photos of the South Florida Dragon Boat Festival at Haulover Park here.

This past Saturday, Haulover Beach Park Marina was overtaken by the Chinese -- or at least by their 2,000-year old tradition -- as it played host to the 2010 South Florida Dragon Boat Festival. In true South Florida style, this celebration of Chinese heritage was running on Cuban time with races starting behind schedule throughout the day. Luckily no one seemed to mind as onlookers watched the groups row to the beat of drums. The teams, with names like "Fireballs Dragons" and "Dragon Slayers" competed in various races throughout the day.  

The free culture-fest was family friendly (i.e. no nutty Asian jumping out of a van a lá The Hangover) and offered up plenty to do, like getting henna tattoos, shopping, and a belly dancing show. Our favorite event? The egg roll eating contest. The winner - who competed against three other guys and two ladies - won by eating up (and keeping down), five entire egg rolls faster than his competitors, two of which, we might add were Chinese.

The $50 cash prize was definitely enough to buy the weekend's worth of

Pepto-Bismol he would undoubtedly need. Did we mention he chugged warm

bottled water to help? We hope you're envisioning as bad of a

stomachache as we are. Those who did not participate in the contest

still had food options aplenty: authentic Chinese food--from sweet and

sour chicken to spring rolls-- snow cones, cotton candy and more.

Though

no celebrities were present, the park looked like paparazzi central

with photography group Shoot Miami crawling around the park with Canons

and Nikons in tow. Lucky for them, and all who attended the festival,

the weather was photo-friendly, offering up a perfect Miami day

backdrop.

-- Rebecca Salgado

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