LOCAL FOOD AND FAMILY FUN COME TO LOWELL’S NORTH COMMON PARK AT MILL CITY GROWS’ 5TH ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 26, 2016

Contact:

Francey Slater

Co-Director, Mill City Grows

Tel.: 978.656.1678

francey@millcitygrows.org 

LOCAL FOOD AND FAMILY FUN COME TO LOWELL’S NORTH COMMON PARK AT MILL CITY GROWS’ 5TH ANNUAL HARVEST FESTIVAL

FREE Event Includes Live Performances, Local Food Tastings & Demos, Kids Games, Craft Activities, Garden Tours, Live Art Creations, PLUS Lowell’s First Local Food “Throwdown”!

[Lowell, MA] – Lowell-based non-profit Mill City Grows (MCG) is proud to host their 5th Annual Harvest Festival on Saturday, September 17, from 12pm to 4pm at Lowell’s North Common Park in the Acre Neighborhood, the site of a beautiful and productive community garden.

For the past five years, Mill City Grows has brought together area food purveyors, growers, artists, non-profit organizations, performers, community leaders and area residents to celebrate Lowell’s local food system and the end of the growing season. This free event will include fun and healthy activities for the whole family!

“Harvest Festival has always been an event that brings the community together to celebrate all of the hard work of the gardening and farming season, and this year we are so happy to be introducing our first ever food competition into the day’s events!” says Mill City Grows Co-Director Francey Slater. “Mill City Grows’ gardeners, volunteers, and staff are growing over 40,000 pounds of food in the City of Lowell this year, and we are so inspired by them every day!” adds Co-Director Lydia Sisson. “Harvest Festival lets us shine a light on this incredible work that so many residents, organizations, and community supporters make happen!”

Visitors to Harvest Fest will not go hungry as a variety of exceptional local food vendors will be right on site, including Lowell’s own Zen FuddhistLet’s Roll EggrollsPhoenix Rising Pizza, The Purple Carrot Bread Company, Brew’d Awakening Coffeehaus, and Sweet Lydia’s. Locally grown produce and specialty products will also be available from Mill City Grows’ own Mobile Market. Activities for all ages will be showcased, including Interactive food cooking demonstrations, the always popular cider pressing station, pumpkin painting, live music and dance performances, T’ai Chi and garden yoga, kids and adult raffle tables, and more! Capturing the spirit of the event through their visual artistry will be six l ocal artists: Anne Cook, Julia D'Angelo, Claire Gagnon, Nikki Giraffo, Jeffrey Lipsky, and Derek Soohoo. Each will be creating original painted or ceramic works, some of which will be featured in a special silent auction at the end of the day.

Mill City Grows' beautiful North Common Community Garden will be open all day for garden tours and all attendees will have an opportunity to vote on the garden plot that looks the most vibrant, productive, and enticing. Visitors will cast their votes at the Lowell Votes Mock Voting Booth. 

A new, exciting addition to Harvest Fest takes place from 1-2:30pm: Lowell’s first Local Food “Throwdown,” a fiercely friendly Dip Competition that pits area restaurants and professional chefs head-to-head with community members and gardeners. Contestants will enter one of three categories -- Best Hummus, Best Salsa, Best Wildcard Dip (guacamole, tapenade, tzatziki, etc.) – and the public will sample each and judge them on taste alone. All samples will be kept anonymous and winners will be announced at the event. All attendees are invited to sample and cast their vote

s while samples last! In addition to gardeners and community members, the following local businesses have confirmed participation: Bishop’s Legacy, El Potro Mexican Grill, Sophia’s Greek Pantry, Zen Fuddhist, Cobblestones of Lowell, and Moonstones.

Mill City Grows is excited to work with UMass Lowell’s Office of Sustainability and the City of Lowell’s SolidWaste & Recycling Office to make th

e event as zero waste as possible. All food vendors will utilize compostable paper products and utensils and attendees will dispose of all items at specially marked bins at key locations . Event organizers encourage attendees to bring their own water bottles at refill them at Harvest Festival water stations in an effort to reduce the amount of bottle usage.

The 2016 Mill City Grows Harvest Festival would not be possible without the support of these generous sponsors, who continue to keep the event free and open to the public: Annual Event Sponsors Microdesk, the Nancy and Richard Donahue Charitable Foundation, Digital Federal Credit UnionEastern BankLowell General HospitalJeanne D’Arc Credit UnionTrinity EMSEnterprise BankGallagher & Cavanaugh LLPPlenus GroupPrinceton Properties, and Watermark; Harvest Festival Sponsors Susan Mitchell and Jim Waldo, Whole Foods, and Target; and Community Sponsors Align Credit UnionUMass LowellSenior Whole Health, and the Flatbread Company. Other supporters include Middlesex Community College, Washington Savings Bank, and the Lowell Sun.

For more information on Mill City Grows’ 5th Annual Harvest Festival, please call 978-455-2620 or email info@millcitygrows.org. Volunteer opportunities at the event are also available! For volunteer information, please contact Suzzanne Cromwell at 978-455-2620 or email suzz@millcitygrows.org.

 

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