Written August 1, 2018, before vacation began…
A month to plan, three days of pure adrenaline and then at least a week to fully recover.
That’s our annual Lowell Folk Festival Weekend, this past July representing our 25th. (But…we’ll officially celebrate 25 next FF as we begin to celebrate this worthy milestone in the months to come, which officially culminates on June 4. Does that make any sense?)
Sitting at breakfast post-festival Monday morning with (12) tired employees (who also happen to be family and extended family members), I realized this was the first sit-down meal I’ve had since pre festival Friday lunch, when me and a high school homie (now living in North Carolina and up specifically for the weekend), sat down at moonstones before the ‘festivities’ began.
At breakfast, as samples and shares went around the table, one daughters chocolate chip pancakes, another’s omelet, my nephews corned-beef hash, and as I chomped down on Tom’s Favorite Sandwich of ham and melting whatnot, I “praised the Lord” for the Owl Diner (and the seat) while recalling snippets of bites along the weekend way: a burger from the grill shared with my Brooklyn-to Lowell-to London-next daughter, as the lead singer of the band shouted: “You GOT to LOVE yourself peoplllle…”
Saturday morning, someone brought me a bagel and giant iced coffee from Top Donut minutes before it was time to go and set up for the biggest day of the year.
I recall lots of water, and bites: Kathy’s Pad Thai from a vendor at Boardinghouse, an too-dry Armenian burger, a Philipino spring roll, some Spinach pie and really spicy samosa from the JFK Plaza. Later there was a bite of someone’s (incredible) Reuben and a leftover Buffalo Tender as staff and family members enjoyed the festival and all the food there is to sample and enjoy. Then, to close out Saturday night (and welcome Sunday morning!) some pizza ordered by our home-from-Chicago daughter during the midnight pool party-slash-slash-rinse and refresh (Sorry John!) at my brother-in-laws house, who basically Air-B and B’d his family’s home for our visiting crew!
On Sunday, a mini bowl of jambalaya, a bite of sausage, a sample of pulled pork, someone’s falafel…its all a blur…and then, more pizza, (as all other Lowell restaurants were also closed by 9PM!) as Chicago again looked out for the crew during the post festival “staff-infection” that happens each year around our bar, when all of youz finally go home! We toasted you. And each other liberally as another great festival wound down.
Now, another 11 months of not thinking about festival, until we do it all at least one more time!
Once COBBLESTONES finally closes its doors, I’ll have to come downtown and actually enjoy the festival as a guest—maybe sit down and enjoy an actual plate of festival food. Or not.
Maybe I’ll just stay home and pretend to read the paper while wondering what I’m missing–all these years.