Following a long-time tradition inherited from The Planet, SoftLayer proudly participated this past weekend in the 2011 Dragon Boat, Kite and Lantern Festival in Irving, Texas. The festival, filled with colorful lanterns and kites, cultural performances, and great food, is centered on a water sport that originated in China over 2,000 years ago: Dragon boat racing.
Every year, organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area compete against each other by filling a boat with 20 rowers and one "drummer" to propel a 35-foot dragon boat for 250 meters across Lake Carolyn in Las Colinas.
Having this event in our own backyard, we thought it'd be a fantastic opportunity for SoftLayer's "3 Bars BBQ" to show off its legendary culinary artistry. In addition to our group of private tents for employees to chill in by the lake, we set up a booth in the food vendor area with tons of delicious brisket, ribs, baked beans and potato salad. And since we're pretty well known for our swag, some free cups and frisbees made their way to the event and ended up sprinkling SoftLayer's logo all over the festival.
Under the "DragonSLayers" name, SoftLayer fielded two rowing teams that competed passionately to the chant of "Row, Row, Row!" Watching the races was a lot of fun, and it almost made me question my decision to stay ashore holding a four-pound camera. But hey, there would be no pictures if I hadn't!
With a blazing fast best time of 1:15.7, the DragonSLayers took second place in the corporate division!
Counting families and pets, we had over 200 SLayers come out to support our paddlers and enjoy an afternoon filled with fun performances, great food, friendly competition … and lots of dragons.
We look forward to seeing you out there next year! Until then, we'll be meeting in secret to train and hone our dragon boat paddling skills.
P.S. If you want to see a few more pictures from the event, head over to our Flickr album: http://www.flickr.com/photos/softlayer/