Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coming to the Echo Park Lotus Festival this weekend? Here’s what you need to know

Echo Park Lotus blooming July 2015 6-25-2015 4-49-027


ECHO PARK — After being on hiatus for three years, the Echo Park Lotus Festival returned last year as a smaller event with no carnival rides or fireworks. The turnout was lower than in the past but that was fine for organizer Leo Pandac, who welcomed the extra breathing room to enjoy the activities

“You used to have to walk sideways” through the crowds during the peak years, Pandac said. But the festival remains one of the city’s largest, and this weekend, July 11 & July 12,  the park surrounding Echo Park Lake  is expected to be packed with at least 2,000 to 3,000 visitors at any one time for the 35th Annual Lotus Festival. Here’s a run down of what they can expect this weekend:

  • Hours: The festival officially begins at 12 pm on both days but Pandac says food booths and craft vendors might open sooner. The festival closes at 9 pm on Saturday and 8 pm on Sunday.
  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Most activities, including music and dance performances, food and merchandise booths, will be located on the north side of Echo Park Lake.
  • Entertainment & Activities: The schedule of events on Saturday and Sunday features a wide range of live music and dance performances featuring Asian culture. The line up includes Chinese lion and Bollywood dancers, Hawaiian music and a Mongolian sing along. There will also be more mainstream fare, including jazz and a DJ set, too.
  • Dragon Boat Races: 24 teams will race across the lake on Saturday.
  • Kids & Family: Most of the events are family friendly, but the martial arts demonstration and bounce houses area always popular with the kids.
  • Food: 14 food booths and four carts will serve up primarily Asian food, including Chinese, Korean, Thai and Filipino. Expect tacos, too, Pandac said.
  • Craft & Merchandise Booths:  Asian-themed crafts and merchandise will be featured.
  • Community Booths: More than 30 community groups and government agencies will be on hand to dispense information and, in some cases, freebies. Also, there will be a pet adoption event, with L.A. Animal Services and the Amanda Foundation providing services to pet owners, including spay and neuter certificates and discounted vaccination opportunities.
  • Fireworks: Not this year
  • Parking & Traffic: It will be bad. This year’s festival coincides with Dodger games on Saturday and Sunday, so expect traffic to be extra heavy across Echo Park. There will be a satellite parking lot available for Lotus Festival visitors at Logan Street Elementary (entrance off Lemoyne Street). However, there will be no shuttle bus, so visitors will have to walk two blocks to get to the festival.
  • Street Closures: Park Avenue, on the north end of the park, between Glendale Boulevard and Echo Park Avenue.
  • Dont’ Forget The Lotus!: It’s called the Lotus Festival for a reason. The large lotus bed in the northwest corner of the lake is filled with the blooming aquatic plants.  The flowers close up at the end of the day, so lotus lovers should arrive during in the afternoon for the best show.

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  1. Editor, Thanks for all the information. And thank you to whoever made decision regarding no fireworks; we’ve had our share for the year!

  2. When was the last time it had carnival rides?

  3. I sure hope there is some plant based food there this year! My family always goes expecting to find something to eat with so many vendors to choose from, peruse the line, and ending up having to leave because everything contains animal products.

    • Sounds like y’all should have a vegetarian lunch before heading to the festival. Or there’s Sage vegan restaurant right up the street from the park on Sunset Blvd.

  4. @ Zaius there are multiple eateries in walking distance (couple of blocks or 5 minute walk) from venue where you can get plant based food. like Sage is one long block, also a long block toward Sunset is the Brite Spot – they have vegan sandwiches for sure. enjoy!

    • Thank you for the suggestions! We love Sage! We eat there all the time. We just were hoping the organizers would plan to have at least one plant based option so we could enjoy some different cuisine while at the festival! Seems like this year the food is the big draw. Echo Park has so many people who abstain from animal products, it would make sense to offer some viddles everyone can enjoy!

  5. Looks like a lot of fun! No fireworks, who cares, there’s food! I’m sooooo there…

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