Return of the Dragon!

Annual festival runs Thurs. through Sunday in Lake Orion

By Jim Newell

Review Editor

The Orion Art Center’s Dragon on the Lake Festival returns this weekend in downtown Lake Orion, with events beginning on Thursday and concluding on Sunday.

Event organizer and Art Center member James Jenkins said, “Things are going great. People are really excited. There’s a buzz this year, like there is every year, for the Dragon on the Lake.”

The Dragon on the Lake Festival is the Orion Art Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year and supports Art Center programs.

New this year is the Community Tent – which will have beer and wine sales and special events each evening from 6-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Tickets to the Community Tent are $20 and can be purchased through the event website,

Jenkins said that while preparations are going well, the festival still needs plenty of volunteers to help run things. There is a “Volunteers” link on the Dragon on the Lake website that will take anyone who wants to help out to a SignUpGenius page.

A noteworthy change for parents from last week’s Lake Orion Review article: The Kidz Zone has moved from Meeks Park to the Orion Art Center grounds because of roadwork. The Kidz Zone is open 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday. Over 20 vendors will be onsite with inflatables, a tumble zone, llamma rides and a Kidz Zone stage with 13 hours of entertainment rotating every 30 minutes. Hot dog, shaved ice and frozen yogurt vendors are available.

In conjunction with the Community Tent, the Dragon Pub, a festival favorite, returns. Jenkins said that after the Community Tent closes, people can head over to the Dragon Pub to finish out the night.

The Dragon Pub is open until 11:30 p.m., but during the day will feature performances form area musicians.

“Chalk art is going to be better than ever,” Jenkins said. “And we’re already getting tons of people for the Square Pegs on Saturday night in the Dragon Pub.”

The Dragon Boat Races anchor the festival, returning to Green’s Park for a daylong competition on Sunday. The first race begins shortly after 9 a.m.

The Foam Party kicks off the festivities on Thursday, with a foam party for the kids from 3-6 p.m. and then an adults-only foam party from 7-10 p.m. at the corner of Front and Anderson streets. Admission is $10 per ticket with $2 from every ticket benefiting the Lake Orion High School Band Boosters.

Other highlights include:

The “Hilariously Hot Chili Competition” and live comedy event with headliner Zac Martina on Thursday.

The Orion Township, City of Rochester and Oxford Fire Departments compete against each other and guests vote for the best chili sample. The winner gets $600 in prize money to help buy much needed equipment for their department.

The Lake Orion Art Center hosts it’s annual Friday night fundraiser at Dragon on the Lake. Enjoy a craft beer and wine tasting with Homegrown Brewery of Oxford and Wine Social of Lake Orion, small plates with Fork & Pint, Lockhart’s BBQ and Big Wave Sushi.

Dragon Pub

Friday: DJ Nathan Olli, 6-8:30 p.m. 80’s hair band tribute ROCKSTAR, 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.

Saturday: Music all day from 11 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Square Pegz perform from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. ($4 cover after 6 p.m.).

Chalk Art High School Student Slam

Awards at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Dragon Pub

The Orion Art Center, The Chadwick Group and Kendall College of Art & Design invite area high school student artists to form teams of 2-4 artists and to compete for cash prizes & scholarships

First Prize: $400 team cash, $200 gift card to HS art program

Second Prize: $300 team cash, $200 gift card to HS art program

Third Prize: $250 team cash, $150 gift card to HS art program

Scholarships awarded onsite and based on quality of work and feedback of Kendall College Representative

To register visit.

Public entry Chalk Art Competition

Awards are increased by $1,000 this year. Awards are at 6 p.m. at the Dragon Pub.

Compete for prize money and use the streets of Lake Orion as your own personal canvas.

$10 registration in advance or $15 day of Aug. 26.

The three award categories are: Best of Theme (Dragon), Best of Show and Youth.

All categories will be awarded as follows: 1st place, $300; 2nd place, $150; 3rd place, $50.

Artists 4-by-8-foot area will be assigned on N. Broadway Street. One box of side walk chalk is provided. Artists can bring their own chalk or pastels.

Check in at the Orion Art Center tent at the corner of Broadway and Flint streets in downtown Lake Orion.

Greens Park & Peltons Point

Saturday 3:30-8 p.m. The first ever Michigan Wave Makers jet ski competition on Lake Orion. Prepare for an action-packed afternoon filled with thrilling freestyle, race, and dual open challenges. Admission to watch the competition is free, and bleacher seating will be provided.

Dragon Boat Races

Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. Closing ceremonies at the Dragon Pub at 6 p.m.


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