Plan Your Visit to the 2017 Lotus and Water Lily Festival

Lotus and Water Lily Festival
Lotus and Water Lily Festival

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News Release Date: July 7, 2017

Contact: Pya Langley, 202-450-0226

Experience global culture at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens’ weeklong celebration

WASHINGTON – See stunning beauty and experience diverse cultures that highlight Latin, Asian and African traditions at the annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival. Join the National Park Service for the festival kickoff on July 15, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and for the weeklong activities that continue through July 22, 2017.
2017 Lotus and Water Lily Festival Events
When: Saturday, July 15 - Saturday, July 22, 2017
Where: Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE
Who: FREE and open to the public.
For more information:
Saturday, July 15: Lotus & Water Lily Festival 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Celebrate the kickoff with music and dance performances, live animal demonstrations and other family fun activities.

Sunday July 16 to July 22, 2017: Garden Walk
Join us on a ranger-led stroll through the gardens. Walks will be held on
Sunday, July 16 and Saturday, July 22 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and Monday - Friday at 10 a.m. The walks begin at the Visitor Center.

Tuesday, July 18: Kids Day 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Enjoy this special day for kids featuring a reptile program, pond discovery, lotus crafts and more.

Thursday, July 20: Paddle Night with the Anacostia Watershed Society 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Explore the Anacostia River and the marshes at the gardens by canoe. Register at

Friday, July 21: Park After Dark 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Experience the park in the evening by joining rangers at 7:30 p.m. for a tour of the ponds to see the night blooming Victoria waterlilies.

Saturday, July 22: Music in the Gardens 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Celebrate the closing of the festival by enjoying the jazz and R&B sounds of the band, Nucleus. Bring a blanket and picnic to relax in the park or join a ranger on a night walk around the ponds at 7:30 p.m.

Getting there:

For the kickoff, a free shuttle service will run between free parking at Kenilworth Park on Deane Ave NE., the Minnesota Ave Metro Station, and Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens until 5 p.m. Accessible parking is available at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.
The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail is another great option for accessing the weeklong festival. Bike, run or hike along the trail from Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Bladensburg, Maryland or from the skating pavilion in Anacostia Park to get to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens.

What to bring

For the kickoff, water bottle filling stations will be provided, but you should bring a reusable water bottle. Food will be 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 and Aquatic Gardens. Please refrain from bringing large objects like tents or tables.

Public safety

Visitors are highly encouraged to text LILYFEST to 888777 to receive the latest updates about the Lotus and Water Lily Festival and emergency alerts. Nixle service is free but carrier message rates may apply.

If driving to the festival, don’t leave any visible valuables in your car and park in the designated parking areas mentioned above. When using the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, be aware of your surroundings.
If you see something say something! Call U.S. Park Police at 202-617-7500.

About the festival

The annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival is presented by the National Park Service at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, which is a part of Anacostia Park and the only national park dedicated to the propagation and cultivation of aquatic plants. The festival draws more than 5,000 visitors to the aquatic gardens and is sponsored in part by Infinite Possibilities International, Afropolitan Cities, Modern Buddhism, Mexican Cultural Institute and the 11th Street Bridge Park.

Last updated: July 7, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 1550 Anacostia Ave, NE
Washington, DC 20019
MAILING ADDRESS: 1900 Anacostia Ave SE

Washington , DC 20020


(202) 692-6080

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