CJ Bio America to sponsor Dragon boat races

At least 18 teams will row dragon boats across Badger Lake in August during an annual racing event that will be sponsored for the first time by CJ Bio America.

The CJ Bio America Badger Lake Dragon Boat Bash will be held Aug. 2-3 at the lake in John F. Kennedy Memorial Park on Webster County Road P56 north of Fort Dodge.

In addition to the boat races, the event will feature a concert by the band Arch Allies on the night of Aug. 2.

”We’re thrilled that CJ Bio America is sponsoring us this year,” said Barbara Michaels, chairwoman of the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Association. ”I think it’s a nice blend of cultures. As you know, dragon boating is prominent in Asian cultures.”

CJ Bio America is part of CJ CheilJedang Corp., based in South Korea. The company is building a facility west of Fort Dodge that will produce lysine, an amino acid for use in livestock feeds, and some liquid fertilizer. It’s expected to begin production on Nov. 1.

”CJ Bio America is excited to partner with the Badger Lake Dragon Boat Association to ensure the continued success of a dragon boating event in Fort Dodge,” Luke Palmer, the company’s general affairs manager, said in a written statement. ”We are committed to doing our part in making Fort Dodge a great place to live, work and play. The Badger Lake dragon boat event is an excellent opportunity to play so we encourage everyone to come out and join the fun.”

The previous 16 local dragon boat races have attracted about 20 teams.

”To be at 18 already is pretty awesome,” Michaels said.

She said teams from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have signed up.

Those teams will be racing in 44-foot-long vessels that are elaborately painted and have a dragon head on the front. They’re paddled by 20 people

The first night of the event will feature a concert by Arch Allies. Michaels said the group plays hits by Journey, REO Speedwagon and Styx. She said the show will consist of three sets, with each set featuring songs from one of those three groups.