The Vernon Buoyant Buddies dragon boat team is joined by Vernon Winter Carnival mascots jopo and jopette as they serve as Carnival ambassadors during a recent international dragon boat festival in Sarasota

The Vernon Buoyant Buddies dragon boat team is joined by Vernon Winter Carnival mascots jopo and jopette as they serve as Carnival ambassadors during a recent international dragon boat festival in Sarasota

Buoyant Buddies impress

The Vernon Buoyant Buddies dragon boat team was at a festival in Florida

Winter ambassadors in a place known for its sunshine and heat.

The Vernon Buoyant Buddies dragon boat team recently took part in an international dragon boat festival in Sarasota, Fla. where they made a big impression on the Florida crowd by appearing as ambassadors for Vernon Winter Carnival.

“We had props of snowboards, skis and snowshoes as well as costumes that included snowball headgear, and the blue and white theme of Carnival was a hit,” said Joanne Taylor, a member of the Buoyant Buddies.

“As well, (Carnival mascots) jopo and jopette, in the original costumes, were there handing out Winter Carnival pins to the appreciative crowd.”

This was part of the evening activities of the three-day festival which included a street parade in which each team presented itself in varying costumes and banners.

The Buoyant Buddies team is made up of breast cancer survivors ranging in age from 45 to 84.

The festival in Sarasota took place at Nathan Benderson Park, which was created especially for water sports such as boat racing.

The Buoyant Buddies placed 23rd out of the field of 101 teams participating from around the world.

There were about 3,000 breast cancer survivors taking part in the festival.

After the closing ceremony, the crowd was treated to a fireworks display which was reflected in the waters of the racing canal.

“The Sarasota Festival was an awesome conclusion to four years of fundraising and planning by the team,” said Taylor. “This event is true evidence to the survivorship and quality of life after breast cancer.”

The Buoyant Buddies, who had their supporters with them on the trip, want thank Nancy Wilde Imagination for providing the props for the team for the parade.