Lotus & Water Lily Festival

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2024 Festival: July 19th- July 21st

Please join us for the 2024 Lotus and Water Lily Festival! Lotuses and lilies have been celebrated in art for centuries around the world. This year's festival celebrates the art of these beautiful flowers with dances, exhibits, art classes, an artist's market, and more!

The 2024 Festival Line-Up:

This year’s festival kicks off with an afternoon of free programs and activities from 10 to 2:00 pm. Other activities will be ongoing throughout these 4 hours, so you can take your time going from different activities.

Scheduled Programs:

10:00 am – 12:00pm Drop in Art Class with artist Darrelynne Strother

Create your own lotus and lily themed art that you can take home and enjoy.

12:00pm Storytelling Program with Dr. David Fakunie

Bring your lunch and relax as you listen to a variety of stories performed by master storyteller, David Fakunie, who is the President of the African American Storytellers Association.

1:15 pm Birds of Prey Program by Liz Dennison from Secret Garden of Bird and Bees

Have you ever wanted to see a bird of prey up close? This show features birds of prey found in the Washington, DC area like owls and hawks. And you’ll learn about their adaptations that make them successful hunters.


Friday Night Schedule: Neighborhood Night

Friday is neighborhood night and we’re inviting all our Ward 7 and other neighbors to join us for a variety of Free programs from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. 

4:00pm and 5:00pm Garden Tours

Join a ranger to learn more about the Lotus’ and Lilies and the native wildflowers of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

5:00pm Zumba

Lace up your sneakers and get moving to the music with neighborhood Zumba instructor, Zerline Hughes.

5:00pm Acrylic Painting Class by Paint Amore

We provide the materials and the instruction, and you create a beautiful piece of art to take home! This class is Free but is limited to 25 students. The sign-up list for this class will be at the “Welcome Table.”

5:00 pm Edible Wild Plant Walk

Learn to recognize some of the edible wild plants of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens with local foraging expert, Dr. Yew. This walk is limited to 20 participants. Sign up for this class at the “Welcome Table.”

5:45 pm Washington Dunhuang Guzheng Academy

The Guzheng is an ancient Chinese zither that is believed to have been invented during the Qin Dynasty (897–221 BCE). For the first time, we’re excited to welcome, Students and Instructors of the Washington Dunhuang Guzhuang Academy to perform traditional Chinese music on the guzheng.

6:15 pm Spoken Word Poet, Sir Harvey Fitz

Enjoy spoken word by talented Poet Sir Harvey Fitz in front of beautiful flowers

7:00 pm Adamare

Rock out to the original music of Adamare, a local band of vocalists and musicians who are DC Public School teachers by day and rock stars by night! They describe their music as a fusion of soul, jazz, and rock and we’d describe “Adamare” as one of the band you need to see live in Washington, DC!

9:00am Yoga with Ebony

Bring your yoga mat and start off your morning with a stretch in the garden.

10:00am Vietnamese Cultural Programming

The Wai Tai Temple presents a program of Vietnamese cultural programming.

11:30am Korean Programming

Come experience Buddhist Chanting, Korean Dance and other Asian Programming

12:30pm Sharanya Dance

Enjoy a Classical Indian dance performance at this years festival

1:00pm Classical Indian Music

Sitarist, Sambarta Rakshit, returns to the Lotus and Waterlily Festival this year with tabla prodigy, Anirudh Alva Changakoti. Anirudh, a disciple of maestro, Zakir Hussain, regularly accompanies touring South Asian musicians. The duo will present a traditional Indian classical piece followed by a brief tabla solo. Sitar and tabla are rich acoustic instruments that model the fluidity of the voice and the pristine sounds of nature. Come, enjoy a journey into Raga Nat-Bhairav, a serene, yet romantic melody that blends perfectly with the setting.

1:30 Bollywood Dance

Experience the joys of Bollywood Dance at the 2024 Lotus and Waterlily Festival

2:00pm Mariachi Los Amigos

Daniel Sheehy and Mariachi Los Amigos perform Mariachi music and discuss the history of Mariachi musical traditions.

3:00pm Corazon Latino

Experience the wonders of Latin Dance performance on the stage

3:30 pm Storyteller, David Fakunie

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is excited to welcome Storyteller David Fakunie to the festival stage

4:00 pm Miguelito

Come enjoy beautiful and engaging Flamenco music and dance performance.

4:30 pm DC Strings Hip Hop Symphony

Experience the fun sounds of this hip hop symphony

9:00am Morning Yoga with Nzinga

Bring your yoga mat and enjoy a good stretch during this morning yoga class in the garden.

9:00am Bike Ride with the Washington Area Bicyclists Association

Check back soon for registration information.

10:00am Plant Foraging Walk with Dr. Yew

Learn about edible wild plants are Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens on this 45 minute walk. Program limited to 20 people. Register the morning of the program at the “Welcome Tent” located just off of the parking lot.

Acrylic Painting Classes 10:00am and 1:00pm

The beautiful flowers in the garden inspire artists of all kinds. In this class you will learn to paint lotus or other flowers of the garden. Class size is limited to 30 students. Sign up in the art area near at the edge of the picnic area.

10:00am King Bullfrog

For the first time at the Lotus and Water Lily Festival, King Bullfrog will rock out in the garden with their music for kids of all ages.

11:00am Birds of Prey Program

Washington, DC native and Master Falconer, Rodney Stott will talk about his work and show some of his live hawks and owls. Stott is also the author of the memoir, “Bird Brother: a Falconer’s Journey and the Healing Power of Wildlife.”

12:00pm African Drumming and Dance

Come enjoy the beautiful music on the main stage

1:00pm Bachata Dance with Ferocity Dance Company

Dancer, Kat Arias and Ferocity Dance Company will perform several Bachata Dances and then will teach a short class so you can learn some Bachata dance moves for the next performance.

1:30pm Sol y Rumba

Local Latin band, Sol y Rumba will perform Bachata and other Latin Music to spice up the afternoon. Dancing along is encouraged!

2:30pm XJ Dance

Enjoy this dance break at this years festival

3:00pm Fashion Show

The Fashion Show is back! See the incredible talents of fashion designers in the community. 

4:00pm DJ Dance Party with DJ 2-Tone Jones

The dance party continues at this years Lotus and Water Lily Festival

4:30pm The Tribe Band

Closing out this year’s festival will be DC’s own, The Tribe Band playing a variety of R&B and Funk music favorites that will be sure to have the crowd out of their seats!

Annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival

Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens is a one-of-a-kind destination within Anacostia Park and it is a hidden gem in Washington, DC. The summer lotus and lily blossoms are a “must see” during their peak blooming period in July, not unlike viewing the cherry blossoms in the spring.

Every year, during peak season for the lotus blooms, the National Park Service puts on the Lotus & Water Lily Festival. Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens collaborates with NPS to create a celebration you won’t forget! Read below to check out this year’s schedule and previous year’s fun!

Previous Lotus & Water Lily Festival Themes:

Last year’s festival was all about Harmony, Health and Healing! Check out the Opening Ceremony video here!

In an effort to ensure nature lovers could safely experience and celebrate the blooming of the lotus and water lilies all that nation’s only National Park site devoted to aquatic plant life has to offer, Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and National Park Service kicked of a Virtual Lotus and Water Lily Festival July 8, 2021, featuring on-demand videos, interactive activities, and events for the entire family through the end of the month. Themed, “Power of Plants and People,” visitors were welcomed to enjoy Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens for daily Ranger-led talks, viewing of the lotus and water lily blooms, crafting, and scavenger hunts, in addition to online events and activities including:

Festival Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorships help make the Lotus & Water Lily Festival possible. 

The Lotus & Water Lily Festival is co-hosted by the National Park Service and Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. 

With generous support provided by Infinite Possibilities, the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, and other foundations and individuals.

If you are interested in supporting the Annual Lotus & Water Lily Festival by sponsoring the event, please contact our Executive Director at executive@fokag.org.

We look forward to investing in the park and surrounding neighborhoods with you.

WELLderness Classes Available All Month Long!

The outdoor wellness fun doesn’t stop during festival time. We’ve got a packed schedule of events going on in the month of July, including canoeing, Journaling, Wellness Workshops, Yoga, Tai Chi, Forest Bathing, Dance Workshops, and Painting. Get more out of the festival by registering early on our Eventbrite

Transportation Note

To access the park via Metro you will need to take the Orange line to the Deanwood stop, followed by a ~ 10-15 minute walk to the park!