This is a re-published article I wrote for the latest EPIAn Ways, which you can view by clicking here.
The Echo Park Lotus Festival is an annual tradition that celebrates, for two days, the Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Los Angeles and the greater area. This is the 33rd Lotus Festival we’ve had – but we didn’t think it would return this year.
The Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project was initially planned to begin in Spring 2011, with construction fencing going up around April. However, the city pushed back the start date to later this summer, and so it was announced the Lotus Festival would indeed return.
Highlights of the festival include music, dance and food – all of which celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander culture and traditions. This year’s focus is on the culture of Thailand. There will be a Health Fair, community groups offering information, and boutiques for shopping. One thing that won’t be part of this annual tradition will be the dragon boat races – which have been absent since 2008 (the Lotus Festival was canceled in 2009, and there were no boat races in 2010).
The Lotus Festival website provides a reason for the cancelation: “…due to lack of participation and funds we are unable to host the Dragon Boat Race and will be cancelled. The Lotus Festival will still take place and we encourage you to still come and participate in the festivities.”
Opening ceremonies start on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm. Festivities will go on until 9:00 pm (no word yet on whether or not there will be fireworks that night).
The Lotus Festival continues on Sunday, July 10, 2011 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 pm.
Please visit www.lotusfestival.org for more details.