Events

Things to Do in Lowell Before Summer Ends

Back to school specials may be starting up, but we aren’t ready to think about summer ending just yet! There are many August happenings in Lowell that you will not want to miss out on. End your summer with a bang and celebrate, explore and make memories with us!


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On August 5th, immerse yourself in the island's warmth and traditions at the Puerto Rican Festival. From 12 PM- 10 PM, come to JFK plaza to experience more music, craft vendors, and delicious food!

Then on August 11th, The 17th Annual Blues’ N Brews Festival will rock JFK Plaza starting at 1:30 PM. The festival has decided to make Lowell its new home!  This event will feature performances by Matt Schofield, Dana Fuchs, John Nemeth and Erin Harpe. The brews will include ciders, ales, lagers, meads and more. Festival proceeds go to different charities. There will be craft vendors, food trucks, food booths, prizes and giveaways! Get more information and buy tickets here.


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The 22nd Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival takes place on August 18th. The festival runs from 8 AM – 8 PM along Pawtucket Boulevard. There will be no shortage of things to do throughout the day- food, live music and dancers, vendors and the traditional boat races. More than 60,000 people travel to Lowell to experience and preserve the Southeast Asian heritage at this annual festival.


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There’s no better place to make family memories than the ball park. Catch a Spinners game before the summer ends! Not only are the Lowell Spinners fun and exciting to watch, but Lelacheur Park has something for everybody to do! The "Foul Ball Fun Zone” will put smiles on everyone’s faces, adults and kids alike! There are carnival games, rides and bouncy inflatables. Find the Spinners schedule here.


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More music, cuisine and culture are in store at the the Brazilian Food Festival. Come experience Brazilian culture at this free event held at JKF Plaza on August 25 from 11 AM - 9 PM. All proceeds will benefit Life Connection Center, bringing healthy meals to the homeless community.


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If you have not made it on a canal tour yet, we recommended you do so! There are a few different options for tours to take, but all of them are enjoyable and provide a different way to learn Lowell’s history. You can read the first-hand experience our intern, Michelle, had here, or check out their website for more information!

As always, make sure you keep up with our calendar to stay up to date with all events around the city!


Experience Destination Lowell

Our favorite weekend of summer is finally here! The Lowell Folk Festival begins tonight with the Flag Parade at 6:30 PM and official festival kick-off starting at 6:55 PM! There will not be a shortage of things to do throughout the weekend, but if you are unsure where to start, Destination Lowell is the perfect spot! We will be on Merrimack Street with plenty of information showcasing Lowell's unique and vibrant Arts and Culture scene. Immerse yourself in all things Lowell as Destination Lowell provides the opportunity to experience the many different cultures and lifestyles that we have right here in Lowell.


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Destination Lowell higlights Lowell's rich community resources. There will be many local organizations with information on topics such as Lowell Celebrates Kerouac, a nonprofit organization the mission of which is to promote a better understanding and appreciation of Jack Kerouac's life and literature and the Lowell Cultural Council, whose mission is to promote excellence, access, education and diversity to improve the quality of life for all Lowell residents. Stop by the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust table to meet their environmental educators, check their upcoming programming, or learn about their projects. Make sure you visit these booths and learn what makes Lowell the cool city that it is and how to contribute to making it even better!


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If you haven't experienced the creative, artistic spirit in our great city, Destination Lowell will change that for you. Keep an eye out for the "Lobster Roll", a human powered machine shaped like a giant lobster that will be part of the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race booth. Discover Lowell Makes, a makerspace which offers shared equipment, classes, and opportunities to teach and network. Western Avenue Studios, one of the "must see places" to visit in Lowell, will also be there. Find out what makes this artist community a destination for creatives seeking studio space in the city.


 Photo Courtesy of Boston GreenFest

There will be restaurant and retail booths - Crepes and The City, Fuji Restaurant, Lowell Burger Company, All Star Lounge, Humanity BoutiqueGaleria De Los Andes-Boutique - all of which are located on Merrimack Street. There will also be demonstrations from Mill No. 5, stores such as Crose Nest, Dress and Trousers,Dandelion District. Red Antler Apothecary will transform an empty storefront into a pop-up shop for the weekend!


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There are so many ways to represent Lowell's unique, rich and vibrant cultural scene. Some additional booths that will be located within Destination Lowell are the UMass Lowell Kayak Center, International Institute of New England the Merrimack Antique Bottle Club and the Lowell Historical Society. There are many other places to experience, so make sure you come by and see us this weekend! Check out the Destination Lowell section on the Folk Festival website here.

Lowell Summer Music Series Experience

This past Sunday, June 17th, I went to see Mikky Ekko and Fitz and The Tantrums perform at Boarding House Park as part of the Lowell Summer Music Series. The overall experience was a lot of fun and the intimate venue made for a really awesome show.

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I went to the concert with my friend Valerie, and we were determined to get the full experience at Boarding House Park. You are allowed to show up in the morning and put your chairs and blankets down to grab your spot. Valerie and I got in line at 6:58 AM and there were about 20 people in line already. The great thing about this venue is they have different sections for guests with bigger chairs and guests with small chairs and/or blankets, so everyone is able to see the artists performing. We had brought a blanket, so were able to get a spot right in front of the stage.

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After going about our day, we went back to Boarding House Park at 6:00 PM. We quickly headed towards our spot that we had reserved 11 hours earlier, and we were happy to see that no one had moved the blanket. The people who sat adjacent to us were so friendly and kind. The atmosphere was great; everyone was just there to have a good time.  The show started at 7:30 with a Park Ranger giving a quick introduction making sure all of the sponsors for LSMS did not go unnoticed.

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Mikky Ekko was the opening act, and he and his band put on a great show. You could see that he truly loves what he does and the impact that music has on him. During one of their songs Mikky actually came into the audience and interacted with fans while performing.  After their set, we got to meet Mikky himself and his drummer, Gavin. They were so down to earth and kind- I felt like I was just chatting with some friends.

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After a brief intermission, it was time for Fitz and The Tantrums. They came onto the stage and made it very clear that we had to be up dancing and singing along with them! The crowd did not hesitate to do just that. There was a middle school aged kid right in front of us who just might be Fitz and The Tantrums biggest fan; he knew every word to every song and was dancing the whole time. It was so fun to watch him enjoying himself so much and even better to be so close to the stage and see how much fun the band was having as well. Fitz and Noelle, the singers, knew how to keep the energy up in the crowd. They are both so vocally talented by themselves, but their voices accent each other so wonderfully when they sing together it really elevates their music to another level.  Ending the night with canons shooting confetti,  Fitz and The Tantrums were a blast to see in concert and I know the people surrounding me felt the same way!

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Overall, my night at Boarding House Park at the Lowell Summer Music Series was an awesome experience. Getting up early to reserve my spot and being able to trust that no one will touch it is not something you can do at most places. The venue provides an intimate setting and it really does not have a bad seat. This type of experience is not something you are able to have very often without having to pay hundreds of dollars. LSMS provides this amazing venue and experience for such an affordable price and I look forward to going to more shows!


Check out the schedule for the rest of the Lowell Summer Music Series here.

A Summer of Celebrations

There is so much to celebrate in Lowell throughout the summer!  There are multiple festivals scheduled for the next few months that you will not want to miss! Join us as we celebrate not only what makes our community so unique, but also what brings us all together!

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On Saturday, June 16th, Merrimack Street will be transformed into a pixie marketplace for the Midsummer Dream Festival. From 12- 10 PM, this festival will celebrate music, art, theater, magic and costume for both kids and adults. The marketplace will include vendors, crafting areas, a cosplay contest, a fairy house promenade and a traveling production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” that will lead you on an exciting journey through downtown from scene to scene.

Also on June 16th, the African Festival runs from 11 AM- 7 PM at the Sampas Pavilion, 500 Pawtucket Boulevard. This year’s theme for the festival is "African Culture: Our Strength, Our Heritage, Our Gift to Mankind." It will feature live music, dancers, crafts, food and more!


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Lowell celebrates Independence Day at LeLacheur Park! Starting at 7 PM on July 4th, there will be tons of activities for families to enjoy, including fireworks starting at 9 PM! Get there first! The first 2,000 attendees get a free American Flag. The Swampland Kids Area will be open and there will be balloon animals and face painting. You can sit in the stands to watch the fireworks or bring your own blanket and sit in the outfield. Click here for more information.


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July 27th-29th it's the Annual Folk Festival! Folk Fest always provides the best in traditional music, ethnic foods and artisan crafts. All weekend there will be an abundance of live music, family activities and more to enjoy. Performing artists range from blues to salsa to beatboxing and everything in between! The craft area will have rug hooking, Norwegian Rosemaling, wooden flute making and more. There is no better way to spend a weekend than enjoying delicious food, live music and great people!


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On August 5th, immerse yourself in culture at the Puerto Rican Festival. From 12 PM- 10 PM, come to JFK plaza to experience more music, craft vendors, and delicious food!

The 17th Annual Blues’ N Brews Festival will rock JFK Plaza on August 11th. This event is rain or shine and will feature performances by Matt Schofield, Dana Fuchs, John Nemeth and Erin Harpe. The brews will include ciders, ales, lagers, meads and more. There will be craft vendors, food trucks, food booths, prizes and giveaways!


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On August 18th, the 22nd Annual Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival will run from 9 AM to 7:30 PM at the Heritage State Park’s Vandenberg Esplanade. Spend the day along the Merrimack River and enjoy South East Asian food, live music, dancers, vendors and traditional boat races.


There are many other events planned for the coming months in Lowell. Make sure you check out the calendar so you don’t miss out on the fun!

ArtWeek Returns To Lowell

Lowell celebrates the arts during ArtWeek Lowell. This coming week, April 28th-May 6th is ArtWeek in Massachusetts. This event, which started out just in Eastern Mass, has been expanding in recent years and has become state wide! Since 2013 there have been over one-thousand art events with ArtWeek, showing that there truly is art for everyone; such as culinary arts, multimedia, theater, literature, music, crafts, visual art and more. Lowell is bursting with talented artists from every category and we are excited to share the different events happening around the city for ArtWeek!

 Photo Courtesy of the GLC Foundation

Photo Courtesy of the GLC Foundation

Light Up ArtWeek

Lowell's Second Annual Points of Light Floating Lantern Celebration kicks-off ArtWeek with the release of personalized lanterns on the Western Canal, creating hundreds of points of light. This outdoor event, which will be held at Ecumenical Plaza on April 28th from 6-10 pm, celebrates unity and renewal through the food, music and traditions of Lowell's diverse cultures. 

Also happening on April 28th at 7:30 PM, is the Loft Musicians, a collaborative show performed by the musicians who live in the lofts at Western Avenue. All proceeds from the show go to Miracle Providers New England, and there will be opportunities to interact with the musicians as well.

The Cox Bridge Lighting Celebration on May 5th from 6-8:30 pm is a perfect way to end ArtWeek. The public gathering to celebrate the bridge lighting will be held at Kerouac Park, located on Bridge Street and Blue Star Park. This event will feature live entertainment and food trucks. Be there before the switch is officially flipped to highlight the architecture of this Lowell landmark.


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Art for Everyone

There are many opportunities to get creative throughout the week as well. ArtWeek Lowell events include a free painting demonstration at the Arts League of Lowell on April 29th at 2 pm. During this demonstration, you will learn how to create an acrylic painting using the palette and primary colors. Art supplies will also be available for attendees to experience hands-on art-making with the palette knife and paints.

On May 5th A Little Bazaar and Eyeformation Shop are co-hosting an ArtWeek  event at Mill No 5 that will showcase local artists demonstrating their creative process to the community! Starting at 12 pm, there will be a live paint and drawing demonstration by Lowell based artist Derrick Jamison and P.A.B. On the same day there will be a drop-in activity at Studio #109 at Western Ave, where you can create abstract art using alcohol ink on special paper; this event is safe for children and starts at 12 pm. Also on May 5th, participate in an Initiation to Painting class held at the Arts League of Lowell at 1 pm.

Another nearby event is the Lowell's Asian American Heritage Exhibit opening at the Brush Gallery on May 5th at 2 pm. This exhibit (open until June 7) and talk celebrates Lowell's multicultural communities including Cambodian, Burmese, Laotian, Nepalese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai.


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Talking Art

Art is everywhere in Lowell. Join Richard Howe for a Monument and Public Art Walk on April 28th and 29th at 1 pm. There are more than two dozen monuments around the city and Richard Howe will guide the tour to help locate these important pieces. The tour begins at the National Park Visitors Center, at 246 Market Street.

On May 5th, "Wellness on the Walkways Photography Walk" starts at 1 pm at the National Park Visitors Center. On April 28th, there is a reception and artist talk for "The Quilted Canvas II" exhibit at 11 am at the New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck Street.

There is also an open house for the new art exhibit "Branding Lowell: A History of Local Design" featuring curator talks at the Mogan Cultural Center located at 40 French Street at 1:30 and 3 pm, as well as activities for all ages such as designing your own logo.

Earth Day: Celebrate Green Living in Lowell

With April being National Garden Month, Earth Day coming up on Sunday, the 22nd and National Park Week starting on the 21st, it is the perfect time to talk about the many ways to go green in Lowell. There are many resources and organizations that can provide information on living green and help you take the steps towards a more environmentally sustainable life in an urban setting.


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Offbeet Compost is dedicated to creating a green economy that also produces local green job opportunities. To do this, they redirect food scraps from restaurants, households and small businesses away from the landfills to their composting site, where the scraps are broken down into nutrient rich compost. The new compost is then redistributed to participants and sold to local farmers, gardeners and landscapers. Offbeet also mentions how composting can actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Check out their website to learn more about the different ways you can become involved with Offbeet and their composting plans.


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 With a goal to increase access to fresh produce around Lowell, Mill City Grows is very active in our city. They have many different events and programs that educate both beginners and experienced gardeners, such as farm to table cooking classes and a garden training program. This Saturday, April 21st, Mill City Grows will be hosting a screening of the film "Seed: The Untold Story" at the Luna Theater at 2:05 pm. Seed follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy of which 94% of seed variations have been eliminated due to biotech companies controlling most of the seeds. 


 Photo by Megpix

Photo by Megpix

Also happening at Mill No. 5 on Saturday, April 21st, will be a puppet, mask and banner making event for families. This event is part of Earth Day from 12-2 pm, and those families who participated last year were inspired to join the Earth Day parade with their art! To learn more about the community gardens around Lowell or if you just want to know more about Mill City Grows, click here.


 Photo by Megpix

Photo by Megpix

The Lowell Earth Day Parade & Festival starts at 11:30 on the 22nd! Celebrating Earth Day with our community is the perfect way to learn more about green living, and what better way to kick off the start of National Park Week than learning about ways to keep our environment clean and sustainable! This city-wide celebration of art, nature and sustainability begins with a parade from the National Park Visitor's Center on Market Street, and after doing a loop down town ends at UTEC on 35 Warren Street, where local groups will present activities, crafts and valuable information about taking care of our planet.


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Catch it before it's gone! The art exhibit "Honoring Gaia: Mother Earth," at the Arts League of Lowell closes on Sunday, the 22nd after being on display since the beginning of March. This exhibit honors Gaia, Mother Earth in mythology, life, birth and the regeneration of our planet's fragile ecosystems in the face of dangerous climate change.

Experience the Year of the Dog in Lowell

Immigrants, including many refugees, have long been part of the fabric of life in Lowell. Through the years waves of immigrants including Irish, Franco-Americans, Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanians, Greeks, Africans, and Cambodians have settled in our city. The result is a vibrant, rich community tapestry. This week many Khmer communities are getting ready to welcome the Year of the Dog, so here's a look at some of the ways local groups will be celebrating in Lowell and how you can participate in welcoming the lunar new year!


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The Cambodian American Student Association at UMass Lowell is holding its biggest event of the year, its annual Khmer New Year celebration, on Saturday, April 14 from 6-10 pm. Scheduled entertainment includes performances from Rice Paddy Heroes, UMass Lowell ProtoHype, Mill Advised and music from DJ Skyhai. There will also be a number of traditional performances as well as delicious Cambodian food, so drop by for a fun night!


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Lakana Lu Photography

On April 21st, the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell will host a Cambodian New Year Celebration at the Lowell Senior Center from 8:30 am to 11 am, followed by a parade from the center to Clemente Park at 803 Middlesex St.

The celebration will continue at Clemente Park on Saturday, April 21st, as the community welcomes in the Year of the Dog during the 7th Annual Lowell Khmer New Year Celebration from 12-5 pm. Cambodian New Year (or 'Choul Chnam Thmey'), marks the end of the harvesting season and is a special time when people celebrate the traditional Lunar New Year. This exciting event celebrates Lowell's Cambodian community with delicious ethnic food, colorful traditional outfits, live performances, and traditional folk dances. 


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Another way to experience Cambodian culture around Lowell is to visit Cambodia Town. Officially designated in 2010, Cambodia Town offers an authentic cultural experience to any tourist with its restaurants, jewelry stores, and markets.


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Another culturally rich community is the Laotian community. Laotians will also celebrate the New Year this weekend with a parade event on Sunday, April 15 at the Watlao Mixayaram Temple of New England in South Lowell at 42 Bernier Street. 

Visit our event calendar for all the latest happenings in Lowell!


Wild Side: Lowell's Spring Outdoor Guide

There are many ways for you to enjoy the outdoors in Lowell this spring! Stroll along the National Historical Park's waterways; explore the Concord River Greenway, Lowell's "hidden jewel", or hop on a trolley and canal boat for a tour offered by the Park. There are plenty of events happening that will have you enjoying Lowell's beautiful urban scenery and the soon-to-arrive warm weather!


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The Wellness on the Walkways Series continues with a Family Photography Walk on Sunday April 15th, from 11 am-12:30 pm. The walk begins at the National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street and will bring visitors to a variety of interesting downtown locations, covering the history of the area and encouraging photographs along the way.

On Thursday the 19th, Richard Howe guides us on a 300 Years of History Walk from 6-7:30 pm. The walk begins at the UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center and spans Native American history through the rise of textile manufacturing. Howe will also be guiding a City Hall Monuments Walk on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th beginning at the National Park Visitor Center.


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The Lowell Earth Day Parade & Festival returns on April 22nd! This city-wide celebration of art, nature and sustainability starts at 11:30 am with a parade from the National Park Visitor's Center and ends at UTEC, where local groups will present activities, crafts and valuable information about taking care of our planet.


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The 7th Annual Lowell Khmer New Year Celebration takes place at Clemente Park on April 21st from 12-5 pm. This exciting event celebrates Lowell's Cambodian community with delicious ethnic food, beautiful traditional outfits, live performances and traditional folk dances.


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A community group is bringing Lowell's Second Annual Points of Light Floating Lantern Celebration to Ecumenical Plaza on April 28th from 6-10 pm. This outdoor event celebrates unity and renewal through the food, music and traditions of Lowell's diverse cultures. The centerpiece of the night will be the release of personalized lanterns on the Western Canal, creating hundreds of points of light. As part of the festival the community group will also host lantern decorating events - check out the event page for more information


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You can go whitewater rafting on the Concord River until May 20th. With Zoar Outdoor you experience the rapids safely and have the experience of a lifetime! Reservation times are 9 am and 1 pm. An added bonus to this wild ride is that a portion of the proceeds supports the Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust's conservation work. Find out more here.

Celebrating Irish Culture in Lowell

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, there will be plenty of events celebrating Lowell's Irish community. Experience the wonderful celebration filled with food, live music and dancing!


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Lowell Irish Cultural Committee will host their 35th annual Lowell Irish Cultural Week. Events scheduled include concerts and movie nights. On Saturday, March 10th, the Committee hosts a Dinner Dance featuring live music by the Silver Spears Irish Band and the annual Lucky Leprechaun $5 raffle. Tickets for the Dinner Dance are $39. On Sunday, March 11th, enjoy a free event at the Lowell Lodge of Elks featuring Traditional Ceili Dancing, or Irish Folk Dancing. For more information on Lowell Irish Cultural Committee and their events, click here.


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This year, Cobblestones celebrates their 24th St. Patrick’s Day with style and the luck of the Irish. On the day of honor, March 17th, they will host “St. Paddy’s Day at O’Cobbletsones.” The menu will feature the traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, along with drink specials.


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There are also many other establishments that will be having live entertainment and classic Irish dishes. Fuse Bistro will have live music from 2-6 PM on March 17th, along with their house cured corned beef and cabbage. Garcia Brogan's will celebrate all weekend opening at 8 AM on the 17th to serve Irish breakfast. They will have a live show of traditional Irish music from Tom Courtney starting at 12 PM, and Whiskey Tango at 9 PM on the 18th.  For a city restaurant guide, click here.


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To wrap up a weekend of fun, join us for the kick off of the Wellness on the Walkways series! This urban hike is free and from 2-4 PM on Sunday, March 18th. The meeting point of this two mile walk along the Merrimack River is at the Lowell National Historic Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street. For more information, click here.

Winterfest Returns to Downtown Lowell

Winterfest weekend is here! Come visit us Friday and Saturday, February 23rd - 24th, and spend some fun time with your family and friends! There will be plenty to do for all ages creating memories that will last for years to come.


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Friday, February 23rd is the opening day of Winterfest, beginning at 5 o’clock. The official opening will start at 6:30 PM with the procession of the King and Queen of Winterfest. From 5-9 PM, there will be a craft beer showcase. The Winter Market as well as live music opens at 5:30 The Lodge that will continue throughout the night. The ice rink and bouncehouses will be open, and both nights will feature a fire show from The Fire Gypsy.


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Saturday's events will begin at 11 AM with the Chocolate Festival at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church and the Winter Market. There will also be a soup competition at the Masonic Center from 12-3 (or until the soup runs out!) The Family Fun Zone opens at 12 PM and will be located in the JFK plaza along with the ice rink and bouncehouses which will be open from 12-9 PM. You will also have a chance to take pictures with the King and Queen of Winterfest and Lowla Bear.


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Both The Lodge and The Cabin are heated tents and will create magical winter beer gardens. The Lodge will be located in JFK Plaza and have multiple restaurants and food trucks to enjoy. The Cabin will be located in Lucy Larcom Park and will have live music, 5 local food trucks, craft beer from local breweries and a wine bar from Lowell’s own Tutto Bene Wine Cellars. For more information on any events happening this weekend, click here.

February Fun: Activities adults and kids will enjoy

With school vacation coming up, we know how hard it can be to come up with ideas and activities to keep kids occupied throughout the day and the week. Fortunately, this coming week Lowell will have plenty of events happening for adults and kids to enjoy so there is no need to worry about becoming bored! 


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February vacation is here, but there is no need to worry about how to keep the kids busy!  Lowell Kids Week takes place February 19th-24th. During the week there will be nearly 50 free programs for children. Some free events do require a pre-registration, but the events that do not are first come first served. Some events to expect are the Lowell Kids Week Family Festival, which will include activities, giveaways and kid-friendly workshops. Other programs allow kids to draw and build their own architectural designs based on the National Park, or create their own musical instruments.  There is a full schedule of all the events here.


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The iconic basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters will be at the Tsongas Center on Sunday, February 18th. This uniquely talented team has been entertaining kids and adults alike since 1926. With the game starting at 1 o’clock, the Globetrotters will face a revamped Washington Generals Team. The Globetrotters will showcase ball handling wizardry, unbelievable trick shots, rim rattling dunks and unequaled fan interaction. The entertainment does not stop there! After the game, team members will sign autographs and take photos with fans. For tickets, click here.


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A great way to end vacation would be to join us at Winterfest! There will be plenty activities for children and adults. There will be ice skating on JFK Plaza (with free skate rentals). The rink is open on Friday February 23rd from 6-9 PM, and Saturday, February 24th from 12-9 PM.  The rink allows 40-50 people at a time. There will also be bounce houses open from 5:30-9 PM on Friday, and from 12–9 PM on Saturday. The Family Fun Zone will be open from 12–4 PM on Saturday on JFK Plaza. This area will include giant games, drawing tables and a craft area. Also on Saturday, Silly Sally will be performing a show for kids starting at 2 PM in the Lodge. Silly Sally will be doing balloon twisting, a puppet show, storytelling and more! For a full schedule of Winterfest, click here.


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Looking for family fun all year? Look no further than the Luna Theater! Every Sunday, the Luna Theater hosts the “Magical Mystery Movie Club.” This event shows movies that are always rated either G or PG, and starts at 11:30 AM during The Farm Market. The theater is left a little brighter than usual, so families can feel free to come and go. The movie is never revealed before showing time and is not only for kids but the young at heart as well!

To keep up with all the different events happening in Lowell, click here for the events calendar!


Valentine's Day...lots to love!

We know how hard it can be to plan an evening out during the week, but you don't have to wait until the fourteenth to celebrate your love here in Lowell! There will be plenty of events around the city starting this weekend for you to enjoy by yourself, with your valentine and even a girls night out.


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Still searching for the right gift to give your special someone? Or maybe you just want to spoil yourself? You can do both while supporting local artists! On Saturday, February 10th, there will be a pop-up shop, Love Sick at Western Ave at the Loading Dock Gallery, 122 Western Avenue. It will be open from 12-5 PM. This event is kid friendly and will be filled with local artists who have created beautiful, unique, handmade gifts. Also on February 10th, don't miss Love Buzz V at Mill No. 5. This event will be held from 12-4 PM and features two floors of amazing vendors for you to find just the right gift for your special someone!


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Perhaps a classic movie is the way you would want to celebrate with your valentine. The Luna Theater will be screening the classic romantic-drama Casablanca on Sunday, February 11th. This 1942 Academy Award winning film will be showing at 2:05, 5:05, and 8:05. So no matter what kind of day you want to plan, whether it be to enjoy a nice brunch or dinner, check out our directory of restaurants in Lowell. You'll be able to go back in time 76 years and enjoy a thrilling movie with your valentine.


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On Valentine's Day, UnchARTed will be hosting a Valentine's Day Story Slam. This event will consist of people sharing their stories of love and heartbreak. If you want to share your story, signups start at 7 o'clock, but if you would rather just go and listen and meet some interesting and inspiring new people, the event itself starts at 7:30 PM. There will be music, food and drinks to enjoy as well.


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Looking for an event for a girls night out? Look no further than Tutto Bene! On February 15th, they'll be be hosting a Gal-entine's Day. This will be a floral arrangement class paired with a complimentary wine tasting. The event starts at 6:30 PM. Call your girls and get your tickets so you can all create beautiful floral arrangements while spending quality time together. Tutto Bene Wine and Cheese cellars is located at the rear of 58 Prescott Street.

Four Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays

The holidays are an exciting and joyful way to spend time with family and friends and rejoice on all of the wonders of life.  Whether you’re looking for fun activities or you’re still looking for the perfect holiday gift, there’s much to do in the city this time of year.  Here are four festive ways to celebrate the holidays:


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‘Tis the Season for Holiday Movie Classics!

Watching movies is a great way to enjoy time with family and friends.  Not only can these films bring you joy, they have the ability to bring out the holiday spirit in anyone.

Step out for a night in the city and enjoy Ralphie Parker and his family’s holiday adventures in the 1983 classic A Christmas Story which will be playing at The Luna Theater on Sunday, December 10th.  Clarence gets his wings in It’s a Wonderful Life at the Pollard Memorial Library on December 15th and at The Luna Theater on December 16th.  Don’t get stuck "Home Alone" and catch Chris Columbus’ beloved comedy classic at The Luna Theater on December 24th.


 Photo by Meghan Moore

Photo by Meghan Moore

Celebrate with Music and Theater

Traditions such as music and tales about discovering the marvels of the season are great opportunities to enjoy the holidays and make new memories.

Running from now to December 24th, Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s A Christmas Carol is a holiday classic that is bound to bring out the festive in anyone.  There’s more holiday fun for all ages on Saturday, December 9th at the Pollard Memorial Library for Jingle Jam.  Then, experience orchestral entertainment on Saturday, December 9th at the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday Concert.  If you’re looking for more local orchestras, join the UMass Lowell String Project’s Winter Showcase on Thursday, December 14th.  There’s also the 2017 Holiday Pops Tour, coming to the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Sunday, December 17th, that captures the magic of the holidays with their signature Sleigh Ride and other classic holiday music.


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Deck the Halls with Art and Treasures

The arts can be another great place to look for inspiration.  The various shows and receptions available not only provide you with a look into the local art scene, but also enhance your holiday experience with activities that can become new traditions.

Join Western Avenue Studios (WAS) for their Holiday Open Studios on Saturday and Sunday, December 9th and 10th for endeavors that include browsing art, speaking with artists, and purchasing unique gifts.  The Arts League of Lowell is displaying their Holiday Treasures Members’ Show reception on Saturday, December 9th where special holiday-themed art treasures can be purchased.  Loading Dock Gallery’s show, Winter Lights: Gifts for the Holidays, will run to Sunday, December 31st and features hand-made products from soaps to furniture.  There’s also Ayers Loft Gallery’s Peace on Earth members’ show reception on Saturday, December 9th.  This show, which will run to Thursday, January 4th, is a reminder of the joyful times ahead while shining a light on local artists and their work.


 Photo courtesy of The Vintage Witch

Photo courtesy of The Vintage Witch

Walkin' in a Crafty Wonderland

Holiday-themed markets offer creations from local artisans that might change the way you do holiday shopping and prepare for festive times, and can help you find new activities to incorporate into your holiday traditions. 

Unique gifts and art from over 30 local artists are available at WAS’ Handmade Holiday Shopping Night on Thursday, December 14th.  Then there’s The Holiday Oddity Market on Saturday, December 9th at Mill No. 5 where you can find gift options for that someone on your holiday gift list with an eccentric taste.  Do some lunchtime shopping at The Brush Art Gallery and Studios on Friday, December 15th for Soup and Shop and enjoy complimentary soup while browsing through the available art and other creative products.  Then, on Saturday, December 16th, Mill No. 5’s It’s a Wonderful Market has more vendors of vintage, handmade and artisanal goods that are perfect for the holidays.

Looking Back at the Origin of City of Lights

As the annual City of Lights Parade and Celebration approaches on Saturday, November 25th, I spent an afternoon at the UMass Lowell Center for Lowell History and looked through Father Armand "Spike" Morissette’s collection of documents from the early days of the City of Lights Parade. What began as a project and symbol of “Faith in Lowell” has now become an honored tradition for the city’s community and the beginning of holiday season festivities.  Below are some of the events’ traditions that began in the 1950s and have evolved into today’s celebration.


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Lighting the City

The City of Lights organizers wanted to demonstrate the vibrancy and joy of the holiday spirit and decided there was no better way to do so than to light up the city with lights.  Lighting of public buildings, monuments, stores and homes was encouraged.  The lights would not only fill the streets with local residents enjoying the brilliant display, but also bring people from neighboring communities to experience the beauty of a city glowing in light.   After a hiatus and a decline in the number of lighting displays, the City of Lights theme was resurrected in the late 1980s/early 1990s through a partnership between the city and private businesses.  Some 50,000 new lights and unique decorations were installed.  A holiday stroll grew into a holiday parade.  Nowadays, the tradition continues with an estimated 60,000 lights that bring the holidays to life and serve as the official start of the holiday season for many.  The City of Lights program from the 1952-1953 season began this honored tradition, one that is as popular as ever six decades later.


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Music and Poetry

With holiday singalongs, caroling, concerts, movies and more fun entertainment in the City of Lights Parade this year, it’s no secret that the community loves to be entertained.  The origin of the City of Lights shows that this tradition goes back to the 1950s when music and poetry defined the entertainment of the Parade at the time. Songs like “Lights On In Lowell Town” written about the City of Lights by Paul Bordeleau and Henry Fournier were the embodiment of bringing the holidays alive in the community. Poems were the other big form of entertainment, with a poem called “Christmas Lights” being printed on the back of the City of Lights 1952-53 program book.  Other poems were included in the actual event, with local poets being chosen to have their poem become the “Official City of Lights Poem” every year.


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Contests and Activities

Nowadays, the Parade includes a multitude of activities such as the Festival of Wreaths, Photos with Santa, Strolling Carolers through Downtown and more. In the 1950s, many of the activities revolved around garnering participation for the City of Lights project. Contests helped do this, especially when it came to decorating. Home decoration contests allowed the community to get involved in the celebration and to show how festive they were in decorating their home. These contests had first, second and third place plaques that were awarded. Today, downtown stores compete in a window decorating contest and eateries compete in the Hot Chocolate Competition.  It’s delightful to see how the activities have grown through the years and how the spirit of the early City of Lights program continues today and displays Lowell’s love for holiday festivities.

Fall Activities and Fun Things to Do in Lowell

By Yanicel Martinez - Already mid-fall, a great time to get creative, take in some great entertainment and prepare for the upcoming holidays. Below are some ideas to enjoy November.


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Get your creative juices flowing with arts and crafts and workshops.

Arts and crafts workshops are a great way to get creative.  Check out the Fall into Fun Crafternoon on Friday, November 17th and the Make & Take Craft on Wednesday, November 15th at the Pollard Memorial Library and the Arts and Crafts Night with Anabelle on Thursday, November 16th at Coffee and Cotton. can present you opportunities to exchange ideas, learn new skills and above all, socialize! Visit Western Avenue Monthly Open Studios on Saturday, November 4 where you can meet the artists and learn all about their work.


 Photo Courtesy of the Moscow Ballet

Photo Courtesy of the Moscow Ballet

Treat yourself to some quality entertainment.

Fall brings a whole host of new events to look forward to. For example, attend Balefire Productions' staging of "Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet" at Gallery Z from Thursday, November 16th to Sunday, November 19th, a dinner/theater experience. Community concerts are another way to spend time with friends and family. Events such as the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra Family Concert on Saturday, November 11th at the Lowell Catholic High School. And don't miss the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on November 28, a favorite holiday tradition. 


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New and classic movies sure to entertain.

Watching a film is a great way to enjoy a fall afternoon or evening with friends and family. Love hummus? Screening at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center on Tuesday, November 14, HUMMUS! The Movie. The Luna Theater has a variety of movie options starting with The Witches playing on Sunday, November 12 followed by Loving Vincent on Friday, November 17 and Matilda on Sunday, November 19. The Pollard Memorial Library also has its own movie night with Blush on Thursday, November 9th.


Holidays

Get into the spirit of giving by shopping early for the holidays

Shopping for the holidays has already begun! It can be exhilarating or stressful, but in the end you can enjoy it and feel excited as the holidays approach. Check out Lowell's many galleries, specialty shops and markets for old school shopping where you can see and handle the merchandise - New England Quilt Museum, Brush Art Gallery and Studios, Western Avenue Studios, For flexibility and the foodie on your list go for a gift certificate at any of Lowell's great restaurants. Community events such as the Friends of the Pollard Memorial Library Children's Shopping Day on Saturday, November 25th at the Pollard Memorial Library is a great way to shop at a reasonable price.


October - Literature, Art, Science and Cultural Happenings

This month the spirit of Halloween festivities radiates through the air and various historical observations start coming to our attention. Culture also courses through the city as anniversaries and receptions celebrate the arts and the community.  Enjoy events highlighting history and celebrating arts and culture in October. Here's a sample of the events you can find on our calendar!


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Reception for Vast! Mad! Striving! Exhibit

This exhibit, part of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, opens on October 6th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lowell Telecommunications Corporation. It presents the work of artists in various media through the perspective of Jack Kerouac. Attendees will experience Lowell as it is today while embodying the soul of the city. Live music, poetry, art and refreshments will also be offered.


 Photo by John Suiter

Photo by John Suiter

Ghosts of the Pawtucketville Night Kerouac Tour

Part of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival, on October 8th, take an evening walk led by Roger Brunelle through the streets of the Pawtucketville neighborhood where Jack Kerouac spent his adolescence. The walk begins at 6 p.m. at Cumnock Hall in UML’s North Campus. Participate in readings from Kerouac’s talk-writings at the cottages and tenements where he lived and attended school. For the end of the tour, walk to Ste Jeanne d’Arc Church where Kerouac saw a vision of the BEAT-ific Generation.


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EVOLUTION Artist Reception

Sophy Tuttle’s evolution work will be showcased on October 14th from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gallery Z.  Tuttle is a fine artist, illustrator and muralist based in Boston. Join her in sharing her experiences and love for the natural world at this reception. Enjoy light refreshments and the beer and wine cash bar as view her work.

For more information, visit Gallery Z’s Facebook.


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Lowell Reads: Harvard Observatory Photographic Plates Presentation

Join staff from the Harvard College Observatory as they talk about their experience with photographic plates on October 21st at 1 p.m. at the Pollard Memorial Library. Listen to the staff recount their digitization and transcription project with the Smithsonian. Attendees will receive a special discount code for tickets to the Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s production of Silent Sky.

More information available here.


 Photo courtesy of the African Community Center of Lowell

Photo courtesy of the African Community Center of Lowell

African Community Center of Lowell – 1st Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the accomplishments of the African Community Center of Lowell’s first year of operation with the Anniversary Celebration on October 29th from 3 to 6 p.m. at Eliot Church. Experience African and American cuisine and enjoy non-alcoholic beverages. Listen to guest speaker Sarah Dryden-Peterson’s talk and learn more about the African community and culture.


Lowell’s Fall Entertainment: Music, Theater and Film Happenings

With the official arrival of fall, Lowell looks forward to the entertainment-filled events happening throughout September and October. Music, theater and film events will showcase Lowell's creative talent. These opportunities for experiencing music, theater and film are available to all ages, skill levels and those who would like to explore the many entertainment options that Lowell has to offer.


 Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

UML Philosophy & Film

Starting Monday, September 25th, this free monthly film series takes place at the Luna Theater. Films start at 7:35 p.m. and are followed by a discussion with attendees and the lecturer. Explore topics such as political violence, personal identity & agency and philosophy in relation to the movies Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Prestige and Fight Club.


 Photo by The Hearing Room

Photo by The Hearing Room

Mostly Acoustic Jam/Song Party

This Thursday, September 28th and every Thursday thereafter, join fellow musicians at The Hearing Room from 7 to 10 p.m. for the Mostly Acoustic Jam/Song Party. This free event is open to all ages and skill levels. Jam to the genre of your choice, whether rock, blues, bluegrass or more.


2017 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour

At the Luna Theater starting at 5:05 p.m. on September 30th, viewers will enjoy seven short films selected from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Films range between 5 and 19 minutes long and include a variety of genres. Discover short films created by international filmmakers that are sure to entertain film buffs and inspire filmmakers.

Ticket pricing available here.


 Photo by The Hearing Room

Photo by The Hearing Room

Tuesday Night Open Mic

On Tuesday, October 3rd, bring your talent to the stage at The Hearing Room from 7 to 10 p.m. for Open Mic Night. Participate in music, poetry, storytelling and comedy performances every Tuesday. People of all ages and skill levels are welcome. Participants and spectators are encouraged to bring their own works and refreshments.


 Photo courtesy of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Photo courtesy of the Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s Silent Sky

From October 18th to November 12th, the Merrimack Repertory Theatre will run the production of Silent Sky. Playwright Lauren Gunderson’s play tells the true story of New England astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. This production’s themes consist of bold love, boundless determination and the vast magnitude of the cosmos. Audiences can expect a thrilling story for the heart, mind and soul, and a fun time for family and friends alike.

Tickets and times available here.


Looking into October: Creaticity Turnout, Races and Festivals Ahead

The first Creaticity: Lowell Art & Maker Festival event was a success of local art, performance, music and design. The free event featured over 50 local artists showing their work, performances, workshops, readings, writing, public walks and more. Demonstrating Lowell’s art scene, the festival highlighted the creativity of the community and the surrounding areas. To see pictures and videos from the event, visit www.facebook.com/LowellArtMakerFest/

These upcoming fall events promise to bring more fun with races and festivals celebrating art, Jack Kerouac and the Halloween season ideal for people of all ages.


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Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race

On September 23rd, join the community of sculptors, scientists and engineers at the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race (LKSR). This free event will start at Market Street at 11 a.m. with racers peddling through the streets of Lowell, maneuvering a mud pit and navigating the waters of the Merrimack River before returning to Market Street at 4 p.m.

Arrive at 8 a.m. to meet the racers and see the sculptures. Enjoy live music, activities and fun for the whole family. Spectators are encouraged to wear a costume and bring a bike and helmet to follow behind the racers.

Meet Kaia, the official LKSR Mascot, and take a selfie with her for the opportunity to earn free prizes. Join racers and volunteers at Fuse Bistro on Palmer Street after the race for the awards ceremony and after party.

Shuttle service between race sites and parking will be available.


Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

Celebrate the 60th anniversary of On the Road and the life of Jack Kerouac at the Kerouac Festival from October 5th to the 9th. This free, five-day event will feature poetry readings, concerts, tours, lectures, art exhibits and more. Join Lowell in appreciating and discussing Kerouac’s works with 22 events happening throughout the city.

Download the full schedule.


ARToberfest

Join the Western Avenue Studios Artist Association on October 7th and 8th at Western Avenue Studios & Lofts for the 3rd annual ARToberfest. This free event consists of two full days of art-themed activities and demonstrations featuring over 100 artists. From noon to 5 p.m., come see art demonstrations throughout the buildings, including the opening reception for “Unmentionables” hosted by the Loading Dock Gallery. Participate in fun activities for the whole family such as voting for your favorite decorated pumpkin for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Western Avenue Studios. Enjoy local food trucks and Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream along with an on-site Craft Beer Tasting provided by Navigation Brewing Co.


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Friday Nights! – Haunted Edition

On October 13th, the grand finale of this monthly event takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Mill Yard. This free event encourages you to wear a costume and enjoy the delicacies of local food trucks. Experience live music and entertainment, local artists and the Mini Beer Garden for one last time. Enjoy a night full of family fun and activities and gather with fellow foodies.


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Monster Bash

With the annual Monster Bash approaching on the 28th, the community rounds out the month of October with this free event fun for all ages. Get into the spirit of Halloween with trick-or-treating, haunted house tours, games, costume contests and more. More information about Monster Bash will be provided soon.


Fall Harvest: Opportunity for Community Growth in Lowell

By Yanicel Martinez - As the harvest season progresses, take advantage of locally grown foods and access to fresh produce. Help to preserve local farmland and support local vendors by discovering the benefits of encouraging a health community and nurturing the local agricultural economy. Experience these Lowell harvest events with food and fun for all ages.


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Lowell Farmers' Market

Pick up the best of the week's harvest at the Lowell Farmers' Market at Lucy Larcom Park on Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow through October 13th. Find locally grown produce while enjoying live entertainment and fun activities. Also shop for meats, fish, baked goods, prepared meals and more. 


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Friday Nights! - Food Truck Madness

Food trucks, live music, local artists and artisan vendors are just a few of the highlights of Food Truck Madness. Gather with other foodies and discover the mini Craft Beer Garden this Friday, September 8 from 6 to 10 p.m. in Kerouac Park. Experience food truck cuisine and participate in fun activities for all ages. 


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India Heritage Festival

This brand new festival celebrates 40 years of the Gujarati community in New England. Join this free event on September 9 from noon to 7 p.m. at the Lowell Heritage State Park and enjoy Indian cuisine, music, clothing, jewelry, henna and more. The festival also features dance performances such as Dandiya Raas, which will be performed from 6 to 7 p.m.

For more information, visit: www.gurjar.org/event/india-heritage-festival


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The Farm Market at Mill No. 5

More local and fresh produce and food is available on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mill No. 5's weekly Farm Market.  Discover 16+ vendors selling fruit, vegetables and artisan foods every Sunday. The event also features a live band from noon to 3 p.m. The Magical Mystery Movie Club offers a free movie at 11:30 a.m. in the Luna Theater for the whole family to enjoy.


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Harvest Festival
 

Celebrate the harvest season at Mill City Grows' 6th annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 16. The free event is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Common Park & Community Garden.  Enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables, music, games and much more. Stop by for an afternoon of fun for the whole family with garden tours, face and pumpkin painting, local food trucks and vendors.


The Art Takeover: A Month of Creativity and Play in Lowell!

Creativity will take center stage this month as local artists and a diverse range of organizations and businesses join together to support the city's art scene with exciting community events. Gather with friends and come experience Lowell with new eyes - explore the city, meet local artists and connect with Lowell's creative community.


 Photo by David Winthrop

Photo by David Winthrop

Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race

After last year's successful turnout, the Lowell Kinetic Sculpture Race is back this year on September 23. Billed as "a spectacular racing spectacle", the event pits human-powered art sculptures against one another in a race through city streets, over a mud pit and across the Merrimack River. Artists, builders and do-it-yourselfers will bring their one-of-a-kind creation to race for victory. LKSR is the only race of this kind in New England, and not only expands the artistic diversity of Lowell, but reinforces it as a hub of innovation. 


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Creaticity: Lowell Art & Maker Festival

Creaticity: Lowell Art & Maker Festival is a brand new two-day event intersecting art, design, music, performance and public space. The free event will feature the work of over 50 local artists and makers and will highlight the character of the historic buildings on Market Street in downtown Lowell. Come and discover local art and entertainment from Lowell and beyond!


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A Little Bazaar at Mill No. 5

After a summer break A Little Bazaar returns to Mill No. 5 on September 2. This year they'll be expanding the marketplace to every Saturday of the month! 
If you like handmade, kooky and unique items, this place is for you. It's the kind of stuff you don't find in malls or big box stores. Visitors are invited to spend the day walking around the former textile mill and make exciting and fun discoveries at every turn.
 


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The Royale at MRT

If you're in the mood for the theatre, then don't miss the chance to see the new power-packed, award winning boxing drama "The Royale" at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT). The 90-minute show is inspired by the life of Jack Johnson, the first black man to fight for the title of World Heavyweight Champion. The 2013 play by Marco Ramirez has received acclaims nationwide, including the Off-Broadway run at Lincoln Center that landed Obie, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards.

More information is at www.mrt.org/Royale