Lotus Festival Dragon Boat racers left high and dry

Echo Park’s scaled down Lotus Festival, scheduled for next week,  keeps getting smaller and smaller. The  organizers announced earlier this year that the giant festival celebrating Asian and Pacific cultures would return to Echo Park Lake this July after budget cuts forced the city’s Recreation and Parks Department to cancel  the 2009 event.  But apparently reviving the Lotus Festival on a smaller-scale has proved a challenge.  Organizers have announced that the popular Dragon Boat Races have been canceled, and offered the teams – which in years past have paid $125 to participate in the races – to return their money.  The email sent out by Heritage Asian Pacific, one of the groups involved in the event, blamed “unforeseen complications” but did not provide many details:

“After much discussion and deliberation, HAP, Inc. has made this difficult decision to cancel the races, we are a not-for profit organization. Our goal is to continue to provide scholarships to graduating high school students to further their higher education aspirations.  It is due to these unforeseen complications that will prevent us to provide such an important and necessary benefit for those most in need of our scholarships.”

Dragon boat photo by Tammy Manet/Flickr


  1. Just drove past the park and I was thinking, 4th of July weekend, hmmm, something is missing ….

    that’s right, Lotus Festival banners
    (and lotuses, but it’s been a couple of years for them …)

  2. Any Fire works this year?

  3. no boat races is a shame, but we can always watch the fireworks between the festival and the flea market vendors.

  4. I love your comment between festival and vendors – I wonder also.

  5. when will the paddle boats return ?

  6. there used to be really great fireworks on friday night before the festival on saturday. does anyone know if they will be doing the fireworks this year? i tried to look online, but wasn’t able to find any information.

  7. I just called the LA Lotus Festival, Inc (contact info below) and they said their would be fireworks around 9-10 o’clock on Saturday night. Although they didn’t sound 100% confident in that.

    – mark –

    L.A. Lotus Festival, Inc.
    Leo Pandac
    2001 W. Beverly Blvd. Suite 201
    Los Angeles, CA 90057
    Phone: (213) 413-1622

    Email: lepandac@aol.com

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