“Along with music from around the world, the festival will feature moderated cooking demonstrations plus stands offering traditional foods July 29-31 in Downtown Lowell”
The upcoming Lowell Folk Festival, like all prior iterations of the massive North Shore music event, will feature incredible performers. For starters, this year’s lineup includes Memphis soul singer Don Bryant, Balafon masters Balla Kouyaté & Famoro Dioubaté, the Tremé Brass Band from New Orleans, and Creole artists Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole, among many, many others.
But what some folks may not realize about this folk fest is that it has eats to match its cornucopia of beats. As organizers noted this week, “with a musical lineup of acts from around the world, the festival will once again renew its rich history in showcasing the many tastes of Lowell’s diverse communities.” Notably, “this year’s festival will feature 18 ethnic food stands operated by local non-profit community groups, each offering a different traditional cuisine that showcases their heritage.”
Specifically, their “Foodways feature of the 2022 festival will present Comfort Food: How Our Culture Comforts US, two days of cooking demonstrations and discussions.”
“While we are a festival celebrating folk traditions from around the world, people come not just for the amazing music but for the food and crafts we present,” said Kevin Dwyer, executive director of the festival. “Our ethnic food vendors and Foodways programming are really popular and sets this festival apart from others.”
Dwyer added, “Each of our food vendors sells a different traditional type of cuisine and they each raise funds for different nonprofit organizations from local communities. … A lot of these nonprofit organizations have been involved in the festival since the very beginning, and the festival is the largest fundraising event of the year for many of them. So not only is the food delicious, but the funds also go right back into supporting our community.”
More info from their media release below:
The Lowell Folk Festival has always had a deep connection to the ethnic communities living in the region. The tempting aromas of Portuguese, Brazilian, Greek, Polish, Asian, Latin, Burmese and so many other foods will waft through the festival as non-profit organizations including the Lowell Polish Cultural Committee, the Armenian Relief Society, Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church of Lowell, Iskwelahang Pilipino and more prepare food for the large crowds. The proceeds benefit projects and programs in and around Lowell.
Food booths 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 Laotian food booths. Dance Pavilion (on Arcand Drive) will feature Southeast Asian, Mixed African, Liberian, Brazilian, Burmese and Cameroonian food booths. Market St Stage will feature Armenian, Green, Polish, Jamaican/Indian, Laotian, Hispanic food booths.
Foodways cooking demonstrations will showcase Comfort Food: How Our Culture Comforts Us Saturday and Sunday at Lucy Larcom Park Folklife Area from noon to 5pm. Curated by folklorist Millie Rahn, Foodways will feature moderated discussions and presentations with home cooks showing comfort foods from their cultures. From great ethnic dishes like Polish pierogi, Greek potato fries, Lithuanian veggie/chicken stew, and Vietnamese spring rolls and sticky rice, attendees will not only learn the recipes and tips on preparation but will hear the stories that make these comfort foods so special.