“Lowell Folk Festival celebrates the many tastes of local ethnic cuisine”

Along with music from around the world, the festival will feature moderate cooking demonstrations as well as traditional food stalls from July 29-31 in downtown Lowell.

The upcoming Lowell Folk Festival, like all previous iterations of the North Shore mega music event, will feature great artists. For starters, this year’s lineup includes Memphis soul singer Don Bryant, palafon masters Bala Koyati and Vamoru Diopati, New Orleans’ Tremé Brass Band, and Creole artists Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, among many others.

But what some people may not realize about this popular festival is that it eats to match the abundance of beats. As organizers noted this week, “With a musical selection of acts from around the world, the festival will once again renew its rich history of showcasing the many tastes of Lowell’s diverse communities.” Notably, “this year’s festival will feature 18 ethnic food booths run by local non-profit community groups, each serving a different traditional cuisine showcasing their heritage.”

Specifically, it will introduce the “Foodways Feature for Festival 2022” Comfort foods: How our culture comforts us. Two days of cooking demonstrations and discussions.

“As we celebrate folk traditions from around the world, people come not just for the great music but for the food and crafts we offer,” said Kevin Dwyer, Festival Executive Director. “Ethnic food vendors and Foodways programs are very popular and set this festival apart.”

Dwyer added, “Each of our food vendors sells a different traditional type of cuisine and each raises money for different non-profit organizations from the local communities. … A lot of these non-profits have been involved in the festival from the beginning, and the festival is the largest fundraising event in the world. The year is for many of them. So not only is the food delicious, the money goes back to supporting our community.”

More information from their media statement below:

The Lowell Folk Festival has always had a deep connection with the ethnic communities that live in the area. The tempting aromas of Portuguese, Brazilian, Greek, Polish, Asian, Latin, Burmese and many other foods will take off at the festival as non-profit organizations including the Polish Lowell Cultural Committee, the Armenian Relief Society, and St. George of Antioch Orthodox Church. Lowell, Esquillang Bilibino and others prepare food for large crowds. Proceeds benefit projects and programs in and around Lowell.

Food stalls will be set up near three of the festival’s four stages. The Boarding House Park Stage will feature Greek, Filipino, Spanish, Jamaican/Indian, Middle Eastern and Laotian food stalls. The Dance Pavilion (on Arcand Drive) will feature food stalls from Southeast Asia, mixed Africa, Liberia, Brazilian, Burmese and Cameron. Market St Stage will feature Armenian, Green, Polish, Jamaican/Indian, Laotian, and Spanish food stalls.

Comfort Cooking Shows: How Our Culture Relaxes Us Saturday and Sunday at Lucy Larcom Park’s Folklife District from noon to 5pm. Curated by folklore Millie Rahn, Foodways will feature discussions and presentations with home chefs showcasing comfort foods from their cultures. From great ethnic dishes like Polish pierogi, Greek stir-fries, Lithuanian vegetable/chicken stew, Vietnamese spring rolls and sticky rice, attendees will not only learn recipes and tips on preparation, but hear the stories that make these comfort foods so special.


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