“The Lowell Folk Festival celebrates many tastes of local ethnic cuisines”


“With music from around the world, the festival will feature moderate cooking demonstrations as well as stalls offering traditional dishes July 29-31 in downtown Lowell”

The upcoming Lowell Folk Festival, like all previous iterations of North Shore’s massive music event, will feature some incredible artists. For starters, this year’s lineup includes Memphis soul singer Don Bryant, balafon masters Balla Kouyaté & Famoro Dioubaté, New Orleans’ Tremé Brass Band, and Creole artists Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, among so many others.

But what some people might not realize about this folk festival is that it has food to match its cornucopia of beats. As organizers noted this week, “With a musical lineup of artists from around the world, the festival will once again renew its rich history by showcasing the many tastes of Lowell’s diverse communities.” Notably, “this year’s festival will feature 18 ethnic food stalls operated by local non-profit community groups, each offering different traditional cuisine that showcases their heritage.”

Specifically, their 2022 festival “Foodways” feature will feature Comfort Food: How Our Culture Comforts Us, two days of cooking demonstrations and discussions.

“Although we are a festival celebrating folk traditions from around the world, people don’t just come for the amazing music, but also for the food and crafts that we showcase,” said Kevin Dwyer, the festival’s executive director. “Our ethnic food vendors and Foodways programming are very popular and set this festival apart from others.”

Dwyer added: “Each of our food vendors sells a different type of traditional cuisine and they each fundraise for different local community nonprofits. … Many of these nonprofits have been involved with the festival from the very beginning, and the festival is the biggest fundraising event of the year for many of them. So not only is the food delicious, but the funds also go to support our community. »

More on their press release below:

The Lowell Folk Festival has always had a deep connection with the ethnic communities living in the area. The tempting aromas of Portuguese, Brazilian, Greek, Polish, Asian, Latin, Burmese and many more dishes will spread through the festival as non-profit organizations including Lowell’s Polish Cultural Committee, the Armenian Relief Society, Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Lowell, Iskwelahang Pilipino and others prepare food for large crowds. Proceeds benefit projects and programs in and around Lowell.

Food kiosks will be set up near three of the festival’s four stages. Boarding House Park Stage will feature Greek, Filipino, Hispanic, Jamaican/Indian, Middle Eastern and Lao food stalls. The Dance Pavilion (on Arcand Drive) will feature booths of Southeast Asian, Mixed African, Liberian, Brazilian, Burmese and Cameroonian cuisine. Market St Stage will feature Armenian, Green, Polish, Jamaican/Indian, Laotian and Hispanic food stalls.

Foodways cooking demonstrations will feature Comfort Food: How Our Culture Comforts Us Saturday and Sunday at Lucy Larcom Park Folklife Area from noon to 5 p.m. Hosted by folklorist Millie Rahn, Foodways will feature moderated talks and presentations with home cooks showing off comfort foods from their cultures. Great ethnic dishes like Polish pierogi, Greek potato fries, Lithuanian vegetable/chicken stew, Vietnamese spring rolls and sticky rice, attendees will not only learn recipes and preparation tips, but will hear the stories that make these comfort foods so special.


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