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Summer Festivals and Fun Happenings in Lowell

While the Lowell Folk Festival may be over there are still more festival celebrations and activities around the corner to entertain you for the rest of the summer! As we enter August, visit Lowell and discover all there is to like about our city. Mark you calendars, because these activities are a great way to end your summer on a high note!

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1. Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival

Lowell has a rich culture that enhances the city, attracting people from across the country and providing the perfect setting to preserve and share the cultural heritages of the Southeast Asian Community. Add the Southeast Asian Water Festival to your list of festivals and join in as the city celebrates the culture with endless food, crafts, performances and of course the famous Dragon boat races!

BrazilianFood

2. Brazilian Food Festival

What's better than spending your afternoon eating exquisite traditional Brazilian food? The Brazilian Food Festival is for all the foodies out there, as it brings live music, authentic Brazilian dishes and delicious desserts for all to enjoy. Come experience Brazilian culture at this free event held at JKF Plaza. All proceeds will benefit Life Connection Center, bringing healthy meals to the homeless community.

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3. Lowell Summer Music Series

The music scene is always vibrant in Lowell as the Lowell Summer Music Series continues all summer long! Although the Folk Festival has come to an end, Boarding House Park music festivities haven't, as artists are lined up for all to listen. Boarding House Park is perfectly located near an abundance of local restaurants, so you can enjoy a bite to eat before or after the concert! Make a night with family and friends and discover why Lowell is the place to visit for a great night out.

Family

4. Family Festival

Every summer the Center for Hope and Healing transforms Shedd Park into a mini carnival with endless activities, food, music,face painting and more. This year's Family Festival will also include  zumba, yoga and sports. according to the Center for Hope and Healing, "This family friendly event raises funds to support survivors of abuse and serves as an opportunity to increase awareness of violence prevention education in our community." This event is a great way to have fun while supporting a great cause.

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5. Made in Lowell: Friday Nights!

Looking to celebrate the end of a long week?  Well, we have just the event that will get you outdoors and keep you entertained for hours! Friday Nights! is returning to The Mill Yard with delicious food, beautiful art, music and a beer garden. Lowell’s non-profit Made in Lowell hosts Friday Nights every second Friday of every month until October, so if you haven’t experienced this event you will definitely want to stop by! 

Lowell is a hotspot for festivals and summer fun, so come take a trip on the wild side and discover why There’s a Lot to Like about Lowell.

The Lowell Ultimate Neighborhood Guide

Lowell's neighborhoods are a diverse reflection of the city's many populations, each with its own character and history. The eight distinct neighborhoods include: Pawtucketville, Centralville, Highlands, The Acre, Downtown, Back Central, South Lowell and Belvidere.

Some maps also break the neighborhoods down even further to include Lower Belvidere, the upper and lower Highlands and Ayres City, but this guide will focus on the distinct eight.


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#Pawtucketville

Pawtucketville is the largest of Lowell's neighborhoods. Occupying the city's northwest area north of the Merrimack River, the neighborhood is mainly residential with lots of open space, parks and other green places for leisure and recreation.

Pawtucketville is an attractive summer destination in the city because of its location along the Merrimack River. Visitors can swim, kayak, fish and even take boat tours along the river. Parks such as the Vandenberg Esplanade and Lowell Heritage State Park are perfect places for summer activities. The Lowell Tyngsboro Dracut State Forest provides an environment for quiet hikes, birdwatching and crosscountry skiing. Other parks in the neighborhood include the Gannon Family Memorial Park, Father Maguire Playground, Fels Park and the Flaggy Meadows Playground.

Also located in Pawtucketville is the historic Hawk Valley Farm on Varnum Avenue. Hawk Valley Farm has been connected to the Varnum family since the 1660s. Today, the grounds still feature the old Varnum House from the 1700s along with various ruins and foundations from centuries past. Hawk Valley Farm is part of an urban land trust that preserves green space in the city to educate visitors of the now urban area's agricultural past.

Other attractions include UMass Lowell's North Campus with its Lydon Library, Costello Center and the Cushing Field Complex.


#Centralville

In Lowell's northeastern corner is the Centralville neighborhood. Separated from Pawtucketville to the west by Beaver Brook and with the Merrimack River along its southern border, Centralville is also a highly residential neighborhood with acres of green space.
The McPherson Playground, with basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds and pool is the perfect play area for recreational sports. Another large park, Gage Field, is located across the street behind the Robinson Middle School.

The Robinson Middle School parking lot and the Christian Hill Reservoir are two high points with great vistas of the city and are ideal for stargazing, appreciating city vistas and enjoying Lowell's 4th of July fireworks. Riverfront Park runs along the neighborhood's southern border. The park features the Merrimack River Bike Path, a river level, paved path from Beaver Brook to Duck Island. The park is a great area for summer picnics, jogging, fishing, and spotting hawks, herons, eagles and other wildlife.


#Highlands

Lowell's Highlands neighborhood is situated in the southwest section of the city. At the neighborhood's northern point is UMass Lowell's South Campus. The neighborhood's central section is mainly residential, and the diversity of the neighborhood is indicative of the city's overall culture. Much like Pawtucketville and Centralville, the Highlands features green spaces
and parks. Two active parks are Hadley and Callery Parks.

The Merrimack River serves as the neighborhood's northern border. Its riverfront, directly across the street from UMass Lowell's South Campus, is a scenic area for UMass Lowell students, locals and tourists and is a great place for fishing, picnics and relaxation.


#The Acre

The Acre is a neighborhood west of Downtown Lowell. It is a small neighborhood but is full of vibrancy and activity. The neighborhood is densely populated with a blend of small businesses.
North Common, the Acre's largest park located in the middle of the neighborhood, is an oasis from the urban landscape. North Common includes a public pool as well as basketball courts, making the park a summer destination that is relatively close to downtown.

Western Avenue Studios and Lofts anchor the southwest corner of the neighborhood with over 300 working artists at the studios. Decatur Way is a public, outdoor art space where local art is featured and runs between Merrimack and Salem Street from University Crossing to the LHA's Mercier Center.


#Downtown

Downtown Lowell is full of activity and nightlife as well as unique small businesses and restaurants, each lending its individual flair and personality to Lowell's downtown scene.
Downtown includes: The Tsongas Center, Lowell National Historical Park, Boott Cotton Mills Museum, New England Quilt Museum, Pollard Memorial Library and Lowell City Hall as well as historic canals, such as the Eastern Canal and Upper Pawtucket Canal, and numerous businesses, restaurants and cafés. Check out Lowell's downtown restaurants and cafes here.

Another fun feature of Downtown Lowell is its extensive trolley system. Trolleys are operated by the Lowell National Historical Park and run from spring through fall.


#Back Central

Back Central is located south of Downtown Lowell. It holds the distinction of being the smallest of Lowell's neighborhoods however Back Central has an exciting mix of businesses and residences. A noteworthy feature of Back Central is South Common, a large park located
at the corner of Highland and Thorndike Streets. 


#South Lowell

South Lowell, an area also known as Ayres City, is a residential neighborhood that features three large cemeteries at its center. The cemeteries are Westlawn Cemetery, Edson Cemetery and St. Patrick's Cemetery. Surrounding these three cemeteries are many residential roads.

The Concord River flows through the neighborhood and provides a scenic location for nature lovers and relaxation seekers. Muldoon Park features a boat launching spot on the Concord River. 


#Belvidere

The Belvidere neighborhood, along with Lower Belvidere, is situated in the southeast corner of the city. The neighborhood is the secondlargest of Lowell's distinct eight. Belvidere is separated from the rest of Lowell by the Merrimack and Concord Rivers.

In Lower Belvidere is the historic Lowell Cemetery, known for its green space and natural serenity. The cemetery features ornate headstones in a parklike landscape, making it a beautiful destination that functions as a public art display surrounded by nature. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.

Belvidere also features more green space and parks. Rogers Fort Hill Park and Shedd Park are perfect relaxation spots. The Wyman Bird Sanctuary.

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Written by Henry St. Pierre


To find a more comprehensive list of Lowell's restaurants and other businesses from each neighborhood, please visit www.likelowell.com

Even More Reasons Why Lowell is Heaven for Creatives

Art entrepreneurs create opportunities, jobs, culture, products and services that help drive our economy. With over 600 artists and makers residing in Lowell, the city has a great infrastructure that provides invaluable support to the creative community. (Read the first part of the article here).
 

1. Creative Resources

Over the last 10 years the Lowell Cultural Council Program (LCC) has supported hundreds of community-based projects in the arts, humanities and sciences annually allocating funding within the Lowell community on behalf of the Massachusetts Cultural Council. These funds provide economic support for community events that reach residents of all ages. This year alone the LCC funded 42 projects for a total of $61,645.

Pictured above is Barbara Poole's 'Veils of Color', a public art project funded by the LCC.

Pictured above is Barbara Poole's 'Veils of Color', a public art project funded by the LCC.

2. DIY Community

The spirit of do-it-yourself is alive and well in the city. Organizations like DIY Lowell, a citizen-led initiative that connects and empowers Lowellians, are essential to creating positive change. Residents can submit ideas and implement small-scale community projects to enhance the quality of life in the city's neighborhoods.

For PARK(ing) Day Lowell, DIY Lowell and the National Historical Park transformed three metered parking spaces on Merrimack Street into a pop-up park for the day.

For PARK(ing) Day Lowell, DIY Lowell and the National Historical Park transformed three metered parking spaces on Merrimack Street into a pop-up park for the day.

3. Cultural Partnerships

The Cultural Organization of Lowell provides information, advocacy and services to individuals, organizations, institutions and agencies involved with the local creative economy. Commonly known by the acronym "COOL" this nonprofit plays a key role in the city helping to strengthen the vitality and economic growth of arts and culture in Lowell. 

4. Makers Culture

As the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Lowell continues to attract makers and innovators. Organizations like Lowell Makes are succeeding in efforts to bring together local artists, engineers, makers and thinkers to provide the tools and learning resources where individuals can gain and practice modern skills with a community of creative-minded people making all kinds of things.

5. Inspired Innovation

The first of its kind in Massachusetts, New Vestures is a fashion and textiles co-working makerspace. Founded in 2012 by artist, designer & educator, Diana Coluntino, New Vestures aims to support a community of fashion designers, entrepreneurs and innovators who believe that creative, sustainable apparel, textile design and manufacturing practices will improve lives and better the world. 


For more information on these organizations and more public arts attractions in Lowell, please visit likelowell.com.

9 Reasons to visit Lowell this fall

The leaves are changing and the days are getting shorter. Fall is upon us and so are lots of great things to do in Lowell. Here are our 9 top picks why you should visit Lowell this seasons. There's A Lot To Like in the city!

1. City Of lights

Ring in the holidays in Lowell and join us for this year's City of Lights Parade and Holiday Celebration, Saturday, November 26, from 12 - 7PM. ! Take the afternoon to stroll the city streets and enjoy live performances, holiday shopping, photos with Santa, AND the crowd favorite, our Annual Hot Chocolate Competition! The daytime fun leads to the nighttime extravaganza -- The City of Lights Parade and City Hall Lighting -- which marks the City's official start to the holiday season! 


2. Dine Out Lowell

There is no question that Lowell is the cultural hub of the Merrimack Valley. This Fall, Dine Out  Lowell is your opportunity to experience Lowell's culinary culture. From November 26 to December 4, 2016 come and experience the vast variety of restaurants and menus. From casual to fine dining, there's something for everyone. Take advantage of "Happy Hour Parking" in the Joseph M. Downes Garage in the Canalway Cultural District.


3. Monster Bash & Halloween Stroll

Celebrate the Halloween season in Lowell at the Annual Monster Bash & Halloween Stroll, Saturday, October 29, from 12 - 3PM. Enjoy downtown trick-or-treating, costume contests, kids games, and get spooked at Monster Bash's all ages annual haunted house!


Image by Tory German

Image by Tory German

4. Mill No. 5

Mill No. 5 is the perfect destination for shopping and entertainment. You can find unique gifts and items in one of the 11 eclectic shops, or shop for locally and artisan food, cheese, wine and more. Different markets happen weekly, and between the café, lounge and movie theater there is always something going on.  Mill No. 5 is located in Lowell's Hamilton Canal District, with conveniently located parking in the Edward J. Early Garage.


5. Western Avenue Studios - Open Studios

So much to see at First Saturday Open Studios at Western Avenue Studios!  - Every month artists open their doors to the public from 12 - 5PM, so that you can come browse their latest works - you'll be amazed at what you find. Talk to artists about their work and what inspires them. It'll take you more than one visit to check out all the art you'll find at Western Avenue.


6. Take a walk along the Greenway

Reserve your spot for this popular Merrimack River Hike & Picnic, Saturday, November 19, from 9AM - 2pm. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy this fantastic 8 mile hike along the Merrimack River. More info >>>


7. Angkor Dance Troup Event

Angkor Dance Troupe is collaborating with Merrimack Repertory Theatre to produce an original piece first performed during a Cultural Exchange at the Royal University of Fine Arts in Cambodia called Pin Panhchapor (The Harp and Five Colors of Harmony). The production will take place November 18 and 19, 2016. Tickets are available here.


8. Fall Foliage in Lowell

Fall could easily be renamed to "Instagram Season" here in Lowell. Fall foliage is one of Lowell's many hidden secrets. Lowell's foliage season usually begins mid to late-September and extends into late October. The 'peak' foliage can be found at many different times and places as the season unfolds. The best places to experience fall foliage in Lowell include Lowell Heritage Sate Park, Dracut-Tyngsboro-Lowell State Forest, The Concord Greenway, Fort Hill Park, And the Canalway and Riverwalks. We suggest you book your stay at one of Lowell's Hotels and plan your trip early!


9. The Canalway Cultural District

The Canalway Cultural District is home to many of Lowell's top attractions. With more than a dozen public art installations, public parks, over 14 annual festivals and events, countless concerts along with performances that range from intimate gallery openings to mayor athletic events year-round. There's A Lot To Like for everyone. Did you know that the Canalway Cultural District offers a wide variety of dining options to satisfy your personal tastes and budget? The district is home to more than 40 restaurants and coffee shops in walking distance to many attractions. Enjoying a relaxing meal before a show or cap off the evening with cocktails and dessert add to a pleasurable experience in the Canalway Cultural District.