Bring the Family to the 36th Annual Lowell Folk Festival This Weekend

This FREE and fun folk festival features music, dance, arts & crafts, entertainers and SO much food!

July 24, 2023

Did you know one of the largest Folk Festivals in the country takes place right here in Lowell? This weekend, from Friday July 29 to Sunday July 30, the City of Lowell will be transformed into an amazing destination featuring a huge variety of musicians, dancers and performers, all kinds of ethnic foods, folk arts & crafts, children's activities and more for the 36th annual Lowell Folk Festival. It's a wonderful family event, with opportunities to listen to and dance to all kinds of music, experience new art forms, and try new foods. All performances are free but there are items for purchase, such as foods and arts and crafts.

We've reviewed the schedules, maps and materials and pulled out the key activities and areas that will appeal most to families with children.


Music and dance are the main attractions of the Lowell Folk Festival, and there is always an incredible variety of performers. Performers in 20223 will be here from Haiti and all over the US to perform all kinds of music and dance, including bluegrass, zydeco, polka, gospel, tango, blues, and more.  See the complete list of artists, with links to videos, on the 2023 Artist Lineup page.  Some artists who would appeal particularly to families include:

  • Fred Thomas ~ funk music
  • Jason Samuels Smith ~ tap dance
  • Lakou Mizik ~ Haitian misik rasin
  • The Red Trousers Show ~ circus arts


The Lowell Folk Festival organization does an amazing job coordinating ethnic food vendors, all of whom are from non-profit organizations. Their profits will be put to good use on a variety of projects, and they are required to use environmentally-friendly plates, utensils and packaging.

Visit the Food From Around The World page to read about the global food vendors that will be stationed at Boarding House Park, Market Street and near the Dance Pavilion.  See the list of vendors and their locations on the Festival Map. Try all kinds of food, including Portuguese, Brazilian, Greek, Polish, Asian, Latin, Burmese and more.  If you'd prefer a sit-down restaurant, consider visiting these nearby restaurants, all sponsors of the Folk Festival.


The Folk Craft area in Lucy Larcom Park this year  focuses on the role apprenticeships are playing in the ongoing vitality of traditions. Explore crafts that reflect our rich immigrant history with intricate Chinese paper cutting, Irish hand-lettered signs, Dominican carnival mask making and more.The Folk Craft area is open on Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5 PM. See the complete list of artisans.


Families can find lots of children's activities along Shattuck Street on Saturday and Sunday from 12-5 PM. Typically, there are crafts, games, dance performances from local dance schools, face painting, balloons, giveaways, street performers, snacks and more. 

Be sure to visit Experience Lowell on Merrimack Street too! Booths from local organizations will provide information, handouts, schedules, and activities, so that festival attendees can experience everything that Lowell’s arts and culture community has to offer.


Performers rotate among the various stages and will appear at different times throughout the weekend. For a handy reference, print out a schedule and a map.

Parking is available at downtown garages on John Street, Market Street, the Tsongas Arena, Warren Street, Middlesex Street, and Davidson Street off East Merrimack Street. Some of these garages may become inaccessible after Saturday at 9 AM; the Warren Street and Tsongas Arena garages should be accessible all weekend but may be full. Note that portions of downtown Lowell will be closed all weekend. See the Directions/Parking page for street closure information.  Consider taking the LRTA bus from surrounding towns.

Festival maps are available from the National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market St and at information tents throughout the festival.

Stay tuned to the Lowell Folk Festival social media channels for updates and the latest news: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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