Remember when the Echo Park lotus plants once bloomed, coinciding with the annual Lotus Festival?
Remember when teams took to the Echo Park waters to compete in Dragon Boat races?
Well... put those thoughts out of your head. Because although the Lotus Festival is back, the lotus (which began dying out a few years ago for still-unknown reasons) aren't.
And now, according to the organization that operated the boat race, that ain't happening anymore either:
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 cancelled.
But don't completely dispair. Even without those signature elements, the Lotus Festival is still worth checking out, even briefly. Here's more info:
Opening Ceremonies on Saturday, July 10, 2010 at 12:00 p.m., to earmark the celebration of the 32nd Lotus Festival, which includes live music, dance and entertainment from a variety of performers representing many of the diverse countries of Asia and the Pacific Islands. This year, the Festival will highlight the people and cultures of China.
Asian and Pacific Islander personalities from the media and its communities will act as emcees/hosts during this two-day event.
Artisans-at-work will be on hand to demonstrate their skills on the beautifully decorated Flower Island Pavilion. Their artwork illustrates their spirit, tradition and pride of the Asian and Pacific Islander handiwork. This includes: paper-cutting, hand painted scrolls, calligraphy, plant and flower expertise, fish, birds and other Asian artifacts.
I still have a soft spot for the Lotus Fest, as it's the very first event I took the Blogger Kid (then known as Blogger Baby) solo in 2005. I do hope they eventually find a way to bring back the lotus plants in Echo Park.