Plan Your Visit to the Annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival

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Date: July 15, 2016
Contact: Emily Linroth, 202-619-7156

Celebrate the National Park Service Centennial and explore the wild wetlands of Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens during the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival on Saturday, July 16! This year’s festival highlights Asian and East African culture, which both have strong connections to aquatic lotuses and lilies.

When: Saturday, July 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens 
Who: FREE and open to the public 

The Annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival is one of the park’s signature centennial events and features free activities for the whole family: 
  • Explore a spectacular display of lotuses and water lilies in full bloom. 
  • Participate in hands-on activities including face painting, lotus tea tasting, painting demonstrations and Junior Ranger fun. 
  • Enjoy traditional Asian & African dancing performances. 
  • Learn from gardening workshops and educational and cultural exhibitors. 
Visit for complete schedule of activities and maps of the festival. 

Getting There 
Public transportation is the best way to get to the Lotus and Water Lily Festival. Satellite parking is available at Kenilworth Park and at the Kenilworth-Parkside Recreation Center, and a free shuttle service will run between those parking areas, the Minnesota Ave Metro Station, and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens until 5 p.m. Accessible parking is available at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. 

What to Bring 
Water bottle filling stations will be provided, but visitors should bring a reusable water bottle. Food will be available for sale from a variety of vendors, but feel free to bring a picnic lunch or snacks. Some chairs will be provided in the viewing area for performances, and picnic blankets are welcome. Dogs on leash are allowed in Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens and owners are responsible for picking up waste. 

What Not to Bring 
No alcohol is allowed in Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens. Please refrain from bringing large objects like lawn chairs or tables. 

Public Safety Alerts via Nixle 
The National Park Service will use the Nixle Community Information Service to deliver special event information and emergency alerts via text message. Festival guests interested in receiving emergency alerts and updates about the Lotus and Water Lily Festival can text LILYFEST to 888777. Nixle service is free but carrier message rates may apply. 

Nestled near the banks of the Anacostia River, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens is a hidden treasure tucked away in our nation’s capital. It is the only national park dedicated to cultivating water-loving plants from around the world, like lotuses and water lilies, and features the last remaining tidal marshes in the district.

Last updated: July 15, 2016

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