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Entertainment set for Dragon Boat ceremonies on Lake Lanier
Elton John, Journey tribute artists to perform at opening, closing events
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Pan-Asian dance performances will be featured at the opening ceremonies of the International Canoe Federation’s Dragon Boat World Championships are scheduled for Sept. 12 at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. (Photo courtesy of The Arts Council)

About 3,000 people are expected to attend each day of the International Canoe Federation’s Dragon Boat World Championships on Sept. 12-16 at Lake Lanier Olympic Park.

Venue manager Robyn Lynch said just under 1,000 athletes from 15 teams are set to compete across four days of competition. The busy week has already caused local hotels to fill up, Lynch said.

Dragon Boat World Championships opening ceremonies

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 12

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

Cost: Admission free, $10 parking fee. Multi-day parking available.

“I think our hotels and restaurants are going to have a pretty successful week,” she said.

In addition to the United States and Puerto Rico, nations to be represented are Armenia, Bangladesh, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Lynch said she expects people to start arriving next week with the majority arriving Sept. 9, three days before the opening ceremony.

The opening ceremony will have what “people are used to with the Olympics,” Lynch said, with a parade of nations. Food trucks and beverages from Tap It will be available at 5 p.m., with the opening ceremonies starting at 6 p.m.

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Elton John tribute artist Craig Meyer stars in "Remember When Rock Was Young — The Elton John Tribute." He is the featured performer for the opening ceremonies of the International Canoe Federation’s Dragon Boat World Championships on Sept. 12 at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. (Photo courtesy of The Arts Council)

The entertainment chosen was Craig Meyer starring in “Remember When Rock Was Young — The Elton John Tribute.”

“When we were trying to decide about the entertainment, we were trying to think of entertainers that are known worldwide,” she said.

The ceremonies will also include Pan-Asian dance performances.

Wednesday’s ceremonies will open four days of competition, where drummers keep the beat for the team and the participants chant in a series of swift races on the Lake Lanier course.

“With this, you’ll be able to see the entire race, and since the races are so quick, there will be races about every seven to nine minutes. Exciting races every day, finals every day and medal ceremonies every single day,” Lynch said.

The world championships will draw to a close Sunday, Sept. 16, with a closing ceremony starting at 7 p.m. at The Arts Council’s Smithgall Arts Center lawn.

Tickets are $20 for a barbecue dinner, nonalcoholic beverage and the Journey tribute band Departure.

Tap It will sell beer and wine onsite at the 331 Spring St. event.

Regional events