Southeast Asian Water Festival In Lowell, MA: Photos, Directions, Information, Parking, Food, Music, Family Fun!
2014 Water Festival Schedule
Saturday, August 16, 2014
(Map and Directions can be found below)
The Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival
Every year for 14 years now, many people gather along the Merrimack River in Lowell, Ma to celebrate the Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival.
This is a celebration of life, peace and water-the essence of life.
Although all people are celebrated during this festival, the main cultures represented here are Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai.
It is a celebration of peace between the cultures that didn't always have a friendly relationship in their respective demographics.
This is a great time to celebrate with your friends and family! You don't have to be Southeast Asian to attend. All people are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many events that take place during the festival.
The site where over 60,000 people from different cultures meet annually on the third Saturday of August for the Southeast Asian Water Festival
Southeast Asian Food Vendors
The smell of BBQ and the sight of smoke rising fills the air as these vendors from as far as New York display their culinary skills.
It is usually hot so bring lots of water! There is always water for sale and there was even a Church that was giving away free water.
If water is not your thing or if you are looking for a little more flavor, there are many delicious frozen and cold drinks available!
You can try Bubble Tea, a favorite among Southeast Asians, or any of the delicious Frozen Drinks made with Fresh Fruits such as Lemon, Berries, Mangoes, and much more.
Great Food From Different Southeast Asian CulturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
As you stroll down the path along the beautiful Merrimack River, there are thousands of people everywhere.
You will see people shopping and browsing the vendor's booths, people sitting in the shade, families eating delicious foods, performances from traditional musicians and dancers, and much more.
There are so many people you would think that there would be problems. In spite of the thousands of people in attendance, there are very few problems and rarely any violence.
This is mainly because of the heavy police presence including anti-gang officers walking around to ensure that rival gangs keep the peace. It is very effective!
Although there are no photos of individual police officers to protect their safety and privacy, rest assured there is always an officer or ambulance within a stone's throw. You will feel very safe while walking around at the Festival!
Safety Measures and Crowd Control
There is a lot more than just food to look at and purchase at the festival! There are hundreds of vendors, many of them non-profit or charitable in nature.
There are clothes, jewelry, arts and crafts, paintings, instruments, toys, games and much much more for you to enjoy!
There are religious booths including Christian and Buddhist alike, offering prayers, literature, and many free gifts, as well as accepting donations for their cause.
There are bands and various performances taking place on the main stage, traditional music and Christian Music spaced perfectly throughout the venue.
The Boat Races
One of the major attractions in the Festival is the Boat Races. These races are held annually in Cambodia during the November Water Festival and are a core element of the Festival.
The boats are long and are hand-made. The teams consist of 18-24 rowers including the Team Captain who uses a whistle to keep cadence, a Steerer to maintain course, and a Drummer to maintain the rhythm. You can hear the rowers yelling in cadence to keep the pace and flow of the race.
The race is 1000 meters which is the equivalent of nearly 10 football fields and 2 teams race against each other for the title. The team members wear life preservers and there are support boats with trained lifeguards that follow close to the boats should something happen. You can hear the people cheering for their team as the boats take off!
So if you missed it this year make sure to write it on your calander for next year! The venue never changes and the Festival is always held on the third Saturday of August.
Bring your camera, your appetite and a blanket and Celebrate with us! There is plenty of paid parking available and the location is just minutes from Rt. 495. Check the map above for directions. Hope to see you there!
Traditional Southeast Asian Instrumental Music
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