Just Some Salsa and a Folk Festival

These past couple of weeks have been pretty hectic here in Lowell. We’ve been busy and we’ve been having fun with two great events that have just recently occurred: our Latino Conservation Week event, Salsa and Sustainability, and the 30th Lowell Folk Festival! There’s a lot to catch up on! The Lowell National Historical Park partnered with amazing local organization, Mill City Grows to come up with it’s first Latino Conservation Week event! It was a super exciting time! Together we managed to put forth the event Salsa and Sustainability, an event that focused on the importance of the creation and ensuing preservation of green space in urban environments and the importance of sustainability and wellness. There were a lot of positive ideas that were wrapped up in this event that was inclusive to all ages and people from all backgrounds, especially Latinos. So, let me tell you what it was all about…. Salsa and Sustainability was an opportunity for people to be practical and  environmentally conscious, as well as enjoy themselves and get involved with the community. Mill City Grows is an organization that focuses on healthy, green living in the inner city and has several established communal gardening plots throughout; they provided the salsa to our sustainability. Mill City Grows made a really, really delicious salsa out of produce that they grew in their own gardens and printed out some recipe cards so people could make it at home. We provided the pots, soil, and cilantro seeds necessary for people to give growing their own food a go in the comfort of their own home. The hope was that people would then use the cilantro that they planted in the making of their own salsa, showing them how easy, satisfying, and economical this could be. We set it up with the local Friday afternoon Farmer’s Market next to city hall, and got to interact with a wide variety of people and local, organic vendors too! We ended up having such a good time, especially when Ranger Victor, brought over some of Spindle City Corps kids, an partnering youth organization down to the Farmer’s market for some salsa along with some salsa dancing… Someone blasted some sweet salsa music from their Iphone and the space in front of the Mill City Grows and National Park tent quickly became a dance floor of its own…  people were literally eating salsa as they were salsa-ing. It was quite a good time. Here’s a video of Ranger Victor and a couple of our Community Action Team members who were so great in helping us prepare for the Salsa and Sustainability event, dancing around with our selfie frame (check out those hashtags):

  Farmers Market Salsa8-1 Farmers Market Salsa9 Farmers Market Salsa22_USE   And then, exactly a week later, Lowell Folk Festival was in full swing! Lowell Folk Festival is an awesome time to come and stop by in Lowell if you like amazing food, worldly music, delightful dancing and having so much fun!!! We set up for the Lowell Folk Fest during the day and then in the evening, around 6:30, the park rangers, other interns, and myself made our way down to the JFK Plaza next to city hall to be part of the 30th annual Lowell Folk Fest kickoff parade. Some wore their ranger uniforms, some wore their NPS polos, I, on the other hand, wore my 19th century mill girl dress, at the request of Boston Associate and Founder of the 1838 Boott Cotton Mill, Kirk Boott… IMG_0639-1 Superintendent, Celeste Bernardo, led the parade with a similar American flag umbrella as the one George Pryce used during the first Folk Festival. Watch our Behind the Park Episode to find out the story behind this historic tradition and artifact:   LFF75 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjGDXOlnB1w The kick off performance gave a shoutout to the founders of the folk festival who had a vision of Lowell as a cultural epicenter, and instilled the value of folk tradition on our community, while highlighting the vibrant nature of our different ethnic backgrounds. The remaining days of the festival were filled with more parades, food, crafts, and incredible performances. If you weren’t able to make it, maybe next year you’d like to swing by and have a look for yourself? I would enthusiastically encourage that you do! LFF67 IMG_0642 IMG_0640LFF76 See you around, Daniela Sierra  

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