The Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council (MYEC)
The mission of the Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council is to engage the youth of Fort Wayne with their community and local government. MYEC aims to be a service-learning group comprised of a variety of local youth. The members provide a voice for the youth of Fort Wayne to the local government by engaging their peers, creating innovative solutions and performing service-learning projects.
Riverfront Fort Wayne
The mission of Riverfront Fort Wayne is to establish a framework for action, to maximize the use and value of Fort Wayne’s rivers through increased recreational use, restoration, enhancement and development. Riverfront Fort Wayne aims to guide the community in realizing the value of reconnecting back to the Fort Wayne Rivers and riverfront areas. It is the goal that the community values the rivers as economic and placemaking assets to downtown, the broader community and ultimately the region.
Dragon Boat Racing
Dragon Boat Racing is rapidly growing sport that combines rich Chinese traditions, competition, teamwork, and fun. Often, dragon boats are emblazoned with bright colors, dragon scales, and even a dragonhead and tail. Typical dragon boats are 46’ Long and feature 20 paddlers, 1 drummer, and 1 steersman. During the course of the race, the job of the drummer is to keep an effective beat in order to synchronize the paddlers. Actual races are usually between 200-2000 meters and can last up to ten minutes.
The origin of Dragon Boat Racing dates back more than 2000 years ago and is tied to the story of a Chinese statesman and poet named Qu Yuan and his ritual suicide. According to legend, after being cast into exile due to a disagreement with the king, Qu Yuan threw himself in and drowned in the Miluo River. While he was drowning, local fisherman frantically attempted to rescue him by racing to the scene in their traditional long boats. While en route to Qu Yuan, the fishermen beat drums and splashed their paddles into the water. This was an attempt to scare dangerous fish and water dragons away from his body. Additionally bags of rice were thrown into the river as well. It was believed that the rice would nourish Qu Yuan’s weakened spirit.
Today, modern dragon boat racing is based on the traditional re-enactment of the race to save Qu Yuan. Many of the traditional Chinese elements are still practiced today, such as beating of the drums and throwing rice into the river. A common practice for many Dragon Boat Race opening ceremonies includes a practice known as ‘Awaking the Dragon’. Before the race, an artist will dot the dragon eyes of each boat. It is believed that once the eyes are dotted, the dragon will come to life.