When is the Lowell Folk Festival?
July 29-31. The festival takes place on the last full weekend of July every year.
Where is the Festival taking place?
On four stages and other locations in downtown Lowell. There are scenes located at Boarding House Park, St. Anne Cemetery, Arcand Drive, and Market Street.
What is the history of the Festival?
Following the success of hosting the National Folk Festival at Lowell for three years, from 1987 to 1989, production partners and the community continued the excitement with the Lowell Folk Festival in 1990. With hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, the experience is constantly evolving. . The six producing partners – the Town of Lowell, the Lowell Festival Foundation, the Lowell National Historical Park, the Greater Lowell Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Merrimack Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau and the National Council for the Traditional Arts – continued to organize and to present the annual festival during the last full weekend of July.
How is the Festival?
Most of downtown Lowell becomes the festival grounds for the three days of the festival. With multiple performance stages, some people settle in for an afternoon or evening on one stage. Others travel according to the schedule to discover the different venues, performances and audiences. There are sunny and shady stages, and there will be smiling faces all around. With a family activity area, craft demonstrations, tasty ethnic dishes and much more, everyone enjoys it “in their own way”.
How much does it cost to attend?
Festival shows and activities are free. Food, drink and merchandise sales are available throughout the festival.
Should I bring my children?
The Lowell Folk Festival is attended by children of all ages. In addition to fantastic music throughout the festival, there is a craft demonstration area, a family activity area and much more. The whole family will have a great time!
What weather is it?
Massachusetts in late July can bring lots of different weather conditions, and of course, we’re crossing our fingers for sunshine and cool breezes. However, to be realistic, average temperatures are in the mid-80s and the sun can be intense. Hats, sunscreen and water are therefore valuable for your comfort. There is also the possibility of a sudden thunderstorm – location changes will be announced from the stages if necessary.
Should I attend rain or shine?
The festival continues, regardless of the weather in July. Location changes are announced from the stage if necessary.
What should I bring?
• Sunglasses, sunscreen, hat.
• Blanket or towel for sitting in the grassy amphitheater. You can bring low lawn chairs, but be careful who sits around you. If you block someone’s view, we’ll ask you to move.
• A sweater, sweatshirt or windbreaker for evening concerts.
• Friends and neighbors.
• A picnic if you wish.
• Extra pocket money for a souvenir t-shirt, CD or to donate to keep the festival running!
What is not allowed?
Is the festival accessible?
All festival sites are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible restrooms are available at the National Park Visitor Center, the Boott Cotton Mills Museum and the Downes (John Street) Parking Garage. Sign language interpreters are part of the show on the Boarding House Park stage and other select stages.
Are pets part of the festival?
The festival is a busy place and the setting isn’t the best for pets. However, if you must bring your dog, they must be registered and kept on a leash, comfortable with active crowds, cleaned up after and please have water available regularly.
Is there food?
Absolutely! Some people travel long distances, especially due to the incredible variety of ethnic foods available from nonprofit vendors throughout the festival. From African to Filipino, there are tastes from around the world, as well as good old American cuisine.
Is first aid available?
First aid is available throughout the festival. Stop at one of the information kiosks for assistance, or ask for help from a ranger or uniformed National Park Service police officer.
Where can I park?
Parking is available at Lowell town garages at a daily rate. Please note that downtown streets are being diverted and closed for the festival.
Can I dance?
You bet! Dance is encouraged throughout the festival, especially at the Pavillon de la Danse.
Where can I get information during the festival?
Information booths with friendly Lowell Ambassadors are located around downtown Lowell. The city’s ambassadors will be happy to inform you once you arrive at the festival. Information is also available at the National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market St.