Perhaps taking a cue from the MIA lotus blossoms, dragon boats have RSVPed to this year's 33rd annual Lotus Festival at Echo Park Lake with a big fat "regrets, but cannot attend." Despite plans to hold the Dragon Boat race, and with registration already underway, Patch reports that organizers are now waving the checkered flag and refunding entrance fees, which support Heritage Asian Pacific’s Asian Youth Scholarship. Teams typically were made up groups of neighbors, community activists, local business people and politicians, and of course, college kids. The Dragon Boat race was canceled last year too, and the entire Lotus Festival was nixed in 2009, so the last time racers donned soggy life vests and piled into dragon-headed canoes to battle with the paddle was 2008. The Lotus Festival will still take place July 9 and 10, scheduled for just before the lake gets drained for a Prop O-funded, projected two-year long massive rehabilitation. But that's little consolation to the broken hearts of crews like Ramming Speed and Water Ninjas.
· 2011 Dragon Boat Races Cancelled [Echo Park Patch]
· Lotus Festival Returns to Echo Park, But Not for Long [Curbed LA]