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Mitch O'Farrell
Lotus flowers, festival make their return to Echo Park Lake
Lotus flowers, festival make their return to Echo Park Lake

The blossoms are back. That was the theme Saturday at the 34th Lotus Festival held at Echo Park Lake under a sunny sky. Thousands wandered the park with plates of noodles and rice, stopping to watch dance troupes and martial arts demonstrations and pose for photos in front of a pond resplendent in pink-and-white petals. But for a while, some wondered if the lotus plants and the eponymous festival would ever return. For years the man-made reservoir had been home to a sickly bed of dwindling flowers. Pollution, sediment build-up, bacteria, predators — the list of possible problems was long, but the solution was unclear. Then the park closed for a two-year, $45-million storm water...

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