TOURS        GIVE  


Canoe Fest

Sunday, May 7th

Cass Park

Join the Haudenosaunee Canoe Journey, the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club, The History Center in Tompkins County, and our many partners to celebrate boating in the Finger Lakes. The Inaugural Canoe Fest features traditional Haudenosaunee boat building and wayfinding, open paddling on Cayuga Lake, and friendly dragon boat racing as we invite everyone to explore the history of human-powered boating. Caneo Fest 

What To Expect

The inaugural festival reframes the International Finger Lakes Dragon Boat Festival to center historic and contemporary boating on Cayuga Lake. The schedule of events and programs explore some of the many ways people have boated on Cayuga Lake.


9:00am - Open Canoe Fest with an opening ceremony, with Sachem Sam George providing The Words Before All Else

9:30am - Join Hickory Edwards, of the Haudenosaunee Canoe Journey, and other members of the Onondaga Nation for demonstrations in traditional Haudneosuanee boat building and wayfinding techniques. There will also be opportunties for attendees to go out on the water in traditional canoes!

11:30am - Join our communal ceremony were Trent Preszler and students from the Dyson School of Economics will gift a canoe the class built over the past year to the Haudenosaunee Canoe Project. The canoe will be used in support of the Haudenosaunee Canoe Project's educational mission.

12:00pm - Performers from the Onondaga Nation will perform traditional music and dance.

1:00pm - Awakening of the Dragon Ceremony

2:00pm - Gather your friends and engage some friendly dragon boat racing sponsored by the Ithaca Dragon Boat Club.

5:00pm - Closing Team Celebration

How to Participate

You can participate in Canoe Fest in a number of different ways! Visitors are welcome to generally join us for performances and festivities throughout the day. Come enjoy a beautiful spring day in Cass Park!

Open Boating and Canoeing

Get out in the water on traditional craft throughout the morning. The open boating period occurs on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals will be required to complete a liability waiver prior to going out on the water.

Dragon Boat Racing

Register teams of 16-20 in one of our limited slots for dragon boat racing. Pre-registration is required for all participants. Although no prior experience is required, all Dragon Boat racers must sign a liability waiver and go over basic safety procedures with the race marshal prior to the friendly competitions. All teams are guaranteed 3 races in head-to-head time trials.

Register Your Dragon Boat Team Now!
Inquiries? Please direct any questions or outreach to the, with Canoe Fest in the Subject Line.

Physical Address

Located inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture

110 North Tioga Street

(On the Ithaca Commons) 

Ithaca NY, 14850 USA

Gayogo̱hó꞉nǫˀ Territory


Exhibit Hall Wednesday-Saturday 10am-5pm - CLOSED Sun-Tues

Cornell Local History Research Library & Archives - By appointment only. Please contact


Email: Refer to Contact page for individual emails, General inquiries to

Phone: 607-273-8284


Find us on social media @tompkinshistory


© Copyright 2020-2023 The History Center in Tompkins County

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software
Visit Us