Celebration Monday for completion of lily pond repairs at Balboa - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Celebration Monday for completion of lily pond repairs at Balboa Park

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A celebration will be held Monday to mark the completion of repairs to the iconic lily pond at Balboa Park.

The nearly 100-year-old pool that runs between El Prado and the Botanical Building was damaged last summer when a nighttime water fight that attracted a couple hundred people got out of control. The event was staged at a large fountain, but people trampled landscaping and piping when they ran to the lily pond to fill up their water gear.

The $50,000 in repairs included rebuilding 27 boxes that house lily pads and installing new pipes, according to Friends of Balboa Park spokeswoman Jennifer Jenkins. The project's cost was covered through donations of cash and services, she said.

The restoration of the lily pond took place during the winter because the lilies are dormant. New varieties of the flower were added to the pond, according to Jenkins.

She said the city's Parks and Recreation Department also took the opportunity to conduct 25-year maintenance work, including relining the rim with new plaster, checking the concrete floor for cracks and replacing pipes that weren't damaged in the water fight.

The water fight created an uproar that even reached into the mayoral campaign when then-candidate Bob Filner accused opponent Carl DeMaio's partner, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News publisher Jonathan Hale, of promoting the event in advance.

An online article about upcoming weekend happenings included a couple of paragraphs about the water fight.

The Filner campaign sent the media a statement that condemned Hale's "criminal actions," prompting DeMaio to describe the winning candidate's remarks as "mean-spirited divisiveness."

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