The 19th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday (8/8-8/9/09) at Meadow Lake, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. You can watch over a hundred teams paddle and splash their way across the lake, to compete for $60,000 in prizes.
The festival has its roots set in the 15th century fishermen rescue of poet Qu Yuan. Qu Yuan committed suicide in the Miluo River to protest the emperor's rulings in the Warring States Period of the Zhou Dynasty (Chinese history).
The festival includes the main attraction races, along with lion dancers, an orchestra, music, dancing, martial arts demonstrations, an ethnic food court (not just Chinese food), and much more. The food will include some traditional Chinese items such as dumplings, fish cakes, bubble tea, Taiwanese shaved ice, zongzi among many others dishes.
If you want some other activities to attend after this festival, you can always check out the soccer (football to the rest of the world) fields, along with many other activities in the park. You can take the kids to the Queens Zoo or the Playground for all Children. You can also check out the Queens Museum or the New York Hall of Science (one of my favorite places).
The best thing about this festival, its Free! You can find directions and other related information about the festival from here.