Friday, July 18, 2008

The 31st annual event celebrating Asian cultures at Echo Park

LOS ANGELES – The 31st Lotus Festival, celebrating the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands, was held on Friday, July 11, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday, July 12, 2008, from noon to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 13, 2008, from noon to 8:30 p.m., around and on the lake at Echo Park, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility located near downtown.

This year, the Festival highlighted the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. A fabulous fireworks display over Echo Park Lake took place both Friday and Saturday at 9:00 p.m. with the legendary Taiko Drummers playing in the background.

Festival events included cultural entertainment on two stages, the International Marketplace featuring arts and crafts, and artisans and boutiques. There was also a variety of exotic foods and beverages, martial arts exhibitions, an art show, dragon boat races on the lake, and more.

Artisans-at-work were on hand to demonstrate their skills on the beautifully decorated Flower Island Pavilion. Their artwork illustrated their spirit, tradition and pride of the Asian and Pacific Islander handiwork. This included: paper-cutting, hand painted scrolls, calligraphy, plant and flower expertise, fish, birds and other Asian artifacts and wares.

The Health Fair featured educational lectures on holistic fitness. Other services provided included free screenings, information and referrals. The Community Services featured a variety of organizations offering free information, assistance and referrals in areas of employment, social services, immigration, legal services, education, housing and translating.

The Art Show Exhibit featured artwork with the “Lotus Flower” theme. The 2008 exhibit was open for viewing during Festival hours at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, 850 Echo Park Avenue, located across the street from the boathouse.

The International Boutiques offered a variety of Asian and Pacific Islander items and gifts for sale including clothing, jewelry, artwork, hand-made crafts, incense, body oils and much more. The Children's Courtyard gave children the opportunity to learn Asian and Pacific Islander arts & crafts, enjoy live music, stories, songs and dances.
The Queens and their Courts representing local communities were all in attendance in native dresses.

Dragon Boat Races were held both days with media, community service groups, political and business organizations, local colleges and universities all competed for awards, while enjoying a day on the lake.

The Department of Recreation and Parks would like to thank everyone who was involved in this year's event and all of the wonderful L.A. residents who attended the 2008 Lotus Festival.
Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296

1 comment:

Josef Carlo said...

I missed the Lotus festival this year but I would definitely make myself available next year. Reading your article made me feel guilty about missing the festival. There were tons of activities. The reason I missed the festival is that I was working on a project website. The website focuses on public parks. I think people should know their public parks. Public parks are a cost effective way of enjoying your day with your family. You can go here to see my website. Thanks