Around 500 people attended the inaugural Tiki Beach Gala in support of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival on Thursday night.

The sold-out event held at Mooney’s Bay beach featured six different food tents featuring cuisine from all around the world, entertainment and an auction.

“It’s a great atmosphere, great weather for it and something different which is kind of nice,” said one guest.

“It’s a way for some of us to relax before the competition and also have a great time mingling, get to see the other teammates,” said Michael Sulyha

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

"Up until this time we've raised almost $3 million through the foundation and the support mainly of paddlers, so here we are branching out now and trying new things," said Shona Fleming with the Ottawa Dragon Boat Foundation.

Proceeds from the gala and the festival being held June 20-23 will be split between the Youth Services Bureau, ArtsSmarts, the Bruyère Foundation, the CHEO foundation, Debra Dynes Family House, the Ottawa Humane Society and the University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research.