Echo Park 2019 may be synonymous with “hipsters” — or rather, what we’ve been calling “ripsters” (rich hipsters) — based on the growing onslaught of swanky eateries and ridiculous rents these days. But as we noted in our piece about the neighborhood during Echo Park Rising last year, the hood still has a lot of old school goodness to give. Sure, the Echo and Echoplex are Live Nation properties now, and the Happy Foot/Sad sign is soon to be stepping out of the area (by the way, if you actually let the thing determine your mood for the day, you need a good foot in the rear), but we still have the Lotus Festival! The local event remains gloriously untainted by the skinny jean and juicer set, mostly because it’s a celebration of Asian and Pacific Islander culture, which is beautiful and rich and can’t really be co-opted. The lotuses themselves have been reportedly struggling to bloom as of late, but what the event might lack in florals, it will surely make up for with food, craft booths, music and dance. The 39th annual festival remains one of the most authentic and relaxed family events in the area with an array of amusements that truly reflect the multiculturalism in the area (this year, it focuses on Thailand). The dragon boat races on the lake, for example, are a long-standing tradition that still generate excitement and awe, taking the picturesque charm of E.P.’s swan boats to a new level. And in case you didn’t already know, the swans are now open for rides at night, lit up with lights for summer nights like this one, through Sept. 30.
Echo Park Lake, 751 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park; Sat.-Sun., July 13-14, noon- 9 p.m.; free. laparks.org/lotusfestival