They are looking for French musicians and entertainers, as well as restaurants, markets and others who can share their knowledge of French food and culture.
The festival will take place Saturday May 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gershlot (the parking lot at Gershom and University Ave).
There will be food, music, games and face painting, contests and prizes.
An important part of the day will be the telling and sharing of stories, stories of the city’s French-Canadian population.There will be a “Tell Your Story” booth, where a UMass Lowell class that is collecting ethnographic tales from older members of the neighborhood will record and document many of the stories of the area.
There will also be an opportunity to share photos and hear some of the works of Lowell’s favorite French-Canadian, Jack Kerouac.
The French-Canadians began migrating to Lowell from the farmlands of Quebec in the 1870’s to find work in the mills; by 1895 there were 20,000 French-Canadians in Lowell. They settled mostly in Centralville, Pawtucketville and Little Canada.
Today the influence and flavor of those early immigrants is still apparent — from the Franco-American School to the creton at Cote’s Market.
“Today our neighborhood represents many different cultures and languages, and we would like newcomers to have the chance to learn about the roots of this neighborhood,” said Kristy Shockley, a UMass Lowell graduate student who has been working with the East Pawtucketville Neighborhood Group.
For more information, or to get involved, contact Judith Davidson and Nataliya Poto at firstname.lastname@example.org.