Tag Archive for: lotus festival

Despite confirmations in April that the Lotus Festival was going on even without Echo Park Lake as a backdrop, the final word is there’s definitely no Lotus Festival for 2012.

Planned for July 14-15, the festival was supposed to be a scaled-back version with vendors and stages set in the nearby parking lot. The festival organizers recently confirmed this with the office of Council District 13, which released the following information:

We have been in contact with the lead agency that has historically, organized, coordinated and fundraised for the annual Lotus Festival year after year for 15+ years.  The group, the Lotus Festival Inc., informed us that due to the lake being closed this year for rehab/renovation work, they are not planning on putting together a Lotus Festival for this year but they do plan on being back in full force for next year.

Through this communication, we have ascertained that there will be no Lotus Festival this year as the lead organization that has been in charge of it, is saving it’s time, energy and fundraising efforts for when the lake is back.

With the grand opening of the Lake still looking like Spring 2013, we expect there to be a Lotus Festival next summer. And while there won’t be lotus blossoms for some time (which will replanted in the lake), there will be, at least, a lake, and hopefully dragon boat races and fireworks again.

For those of you looking for more information on vending and performing at the next Lotus Festival, please know Echo Park Now is not an organizer, nor are we affiliated with the festival. Please stop emailing us about it and click here for contact info!

We’ve suffered through Lotus Festivals without dragon-boat races, and the past few years without the lotus blossoms themselves – but a Lotus Festival with no lake?

Planned for July 14-15, this will mark the 34th Lotus Festival in Echo Park – the past couple of years have been “scaled back” versions of the festival (it was canceled completely in 2009). We didn’t expect to have on in 2011, until plans to start the Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project were pushed back until later that year and the fest went on.

This year’s Lotus Festival will not be held at the lake, which is currently empty and completely gated up during construction. Instead, the parking lots between Echo Park Avenue and Lemoyne, south of Sunset Boulevard, will serve as the grounds. This will definitely be a “scaled back” version of the event.

The details aren’t finalized, but one thing’s for sure – there won’t be any Dragon Boat races!

No lotus flowers in the lake this year, but they are for sale to take home!

We headed down to Echo Park Lake early to get ahold of the Lotus Festival schedule, which is available to anyone at the information booth in the middle of the festival booths. After the jump: Saturday’s schedule and parking tips. You can read about the history of the Lotus Festival by clicking here.

Opening ceremony started at noon, but here’s the rest of the schedule (Sunday’s schedule will be available tomorrow):

2:00 pm: The Muay Thai School
Thai Boxing Demo

2:30 pm: Na Kapa Ku Hual Halau Kula Nui ‘O Kaleponi
Hawaiian and Polynesian music and dance

3:00 pm: Pacific Asian Club
Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian and Filipino Dances

3:30 pm: Wat Thai Temple of Los Angeles
Thai Rabam Dravat dance Mon style Read more

2006 Festival Photo via LA Taco

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.

Here’s the schedule for Sunday I snapped a shot of last night at the Lotus Festival, click on the image for a larger view.

2006 Festival Photo via LA Taco

Since we didn’t publish our usual “Flashback Friday” history post yesterday, with the Lotus Festival going on I thought it’d be a good opportunity to do a quick history of the Fest.

"Lotus Festival in the 1970s." Flickr photo by La Angelena

The Lotus Festival started out being called “The Day of the Lotus,” and debuted at Echo Park Lake in 1972 thanks to the Department of Recreation and Parks and members of the Council of Oriental Organizations (COO). Each festival takes place in July, timed for the blooming of the lotus flowers. Starting out as one-day affairs, the Day of the Lotus was designed to promote awareness of the contributions by Asian Americans to our culture and communities. The festival focuses on a different Asian ethnicity each year, this year they will showcase the Chinese culture.

Read more

Flickr Photo via citta-vita

While the Lotus Festival isn’t going to coincide with the blooming of the Lotus flowers in Echo Park Lake this year,  have to admit we are a little excited about its return this weekend. In 2009, the Lotus Festival was canceled due to budgetary cuts, and instead turned into the first Echo Park Community Festival. This year marks the 32nd celebration of the Festival, and is sponsored by L.A. Lotus Festival, Inc. and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks.

For those of you who have never been to a Lotus Festival and are new to the area, it’s basically a medium-sized fair around the Lake with vendors selling clothing, jewelry, and other knick-knacks, along with a variety of festival-style food. There’s also a stage where entertainment takes place – we’ve seen some impressive taiko-style drumming, traditional dancing, and other great music.

All this is designed to promote an “atmosphere of understanding in which Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Southern California are brought together for two days of cultural sharing.”

Also in past years, there used to be a Dragon Boat race, where teams applied and paid to race each other in the lake. It seems due to some cutbacks, the races are canceled this year. From the Lotus Festival Dragon Boat Races website:

After much discussion and deliberation, HAP, Inc. has made this difficult decision to cancel the races. Since, we are a not-for profit organization, our primary goal is to provide scholarships to graduating high school students to further their higher education aspirations. Due to unforeseen complications and in the best interest for those most in need of our scholarships, this year races have been canceled.

Read more

Militant Angeleno is reporting that the Lotus Festival will indeed return again despite another year of, well, a lotus-less lake. Last year the Lotus Festival was canceled due to budgetary cuts, and instead turned into the first Echo Park Community Festival.

According the Militant Angeleno blog, L.A. Lotus Festival, Inc. filed the paperwork for the event, which is scheduled for the weekend of July 10-11, 2010. While this year’s festival won’t coincide with the blooming of the lotus flowers (once the largest bed outside of Asia) since the flowers have stopped growing, it will as always be a great opportunity to celebrate the Asian/Pacific Islander culture, eat some food, and enjoy fireworks.

This may be the last chance for a Lotus Festival before the Echo Park Lake Rehab project shuts down the park in April 2011; hopefully the revived lake will bring the lotus flowers back!