2018 Lotus and Water Lily Festival

Park Ranger with giant amazonian lily pads
Park ranger at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens poses with giant Amazonian lily pads that can grow up to 10 feet wide.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: June 20, 2018

Contact: Pya Langley, 202-619-7158

Explore D.C.’s Hidden Gem at the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival

Celebrate Nature, Culture and Community at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens


WASHINGTON-  Join the National Park Service for the Lotus and Water Lily Festival on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. See spectacular 3-foot-tall lotuses and vibrantly colored lilies during peak bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the only national park dedicated to growing aquatic plants. Celebrate nature, culture and community with live music and dance performances, gardening workshops, live animal programs and many more activities that capture the essence of the historic gardens.

“Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is unique, as it’s the last tidal marsh in Washington, D.C., which contributes to cleansing the Anacostia River,” Anacostia Park Superintendent Tara Morrison said. “The enchanting lotuses and water lilies that bloom at the gardens give us a gentle reminder of how important it is to preserve green spaces in the city.”

2018 has been declared the Year of the Anacostia by Congress, state agencies, local organizations and community members. The Year of the Anacostia is a yearlong invitation to honor history, celebrate progress and enjoy the Anacostia River and its surroundings as we envision its inspiring future.

For the Year of the Anacostia, the National Park Service invites you to celebrate Anacostia Park, which turns 100 on August 31, 2018, and to honor 200 years of the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass at his historic home in the Anacostia neighborhood.  

From July 23 - 28, 2018, you are invited to attend Peak Week at the gardens and enjoy fun activities for kids, a ranger-led night hike to see the night-blooming lilies, gardening workshops for veterans and much more.

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind experience within Anacostia Park that offers a serene environment for recreation, reflection and environmental discovery. The annual Lotus and Water Lily festival draws more than 5,000 visitors to the aquatic gardens. For more information visit go.nps.gov/lotus.


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalpark

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Last updated: June 20, 2018

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