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 previous years’ festivities.
2021 Festival: Power of Plants and People: A Hybrid Annual Lotus and Water Lily Festival
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:
- Opening ceremonies with music, featuring Tina O’Connell, executive director of FoKaG, Tara Morrison, super interindent of National Park Service, and Siraaj Hasan, Ward 7 ANC Commissioner
- Lotus tea demonstrations
- A Shaw Water Gardens history walk
- A virtual garden tour in Spanish
- Ranger-led seminars on what’s in bloom
- A meditative yoga session
- A lotus and lily painting lesson
- A smartphone nature photography lesson
A note from our Executive Director:
“Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens – and all of our national parks – have become healing spaces for people during the pandemic, so we are looking forward to co-hosting this virtual festival with National Capital Parks-East which will now reach an even larger, local and international audience,” said Tina O’Connell, executive director of Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. “We’re particularly pleased to be working with park neighbors to increase activities at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and to be working with Ward 7 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Siraaj Hasan who hosts this year’s opening ceremonies.”